Detroit Lions Most Difficult Games in 2016

During July, the Last Word On Sports NFL department will be analyzing the schedules of every team in the NFL and ranking each game in order of difficulty (with one being the most difficult). This series will be split up into the eight most difficult games (ranked 1-8) and the eight easiest games (ranked 9-16) for each team. In this article, the Detroit Lions most difficult games are the focus.

Detroit Lions Most Difficult Games in 2016

1. Week 3 at Green Bay Packers

Last season marked Detroit’s first win at Lambeau Field since 1991. Whether it was the Packers having two Hall of Fame quarterbacks throughout that tenure, the cold weather, their incredible home field advantage, or historically bad Detroit teams, Green Bay is one of the toughest places to win. This game being in Week 3 will help mold how the division looks in 2016.

2. Week 9 at Minnesota Vikings

Last season, the Vikings featured an incredibly balanced attack against Detroit that was hard to watch. In Minnesota, the Vikings put up almost 200 rushing yards and pranced their way to victory. Minnesota swept Detroit last season, helping them win the division. This season will pit similar rosters against each other, and this will be another crucial divisional game.

3. Week 13 at New Orleans Saints

Playing down in the Super Dome, Detroit will have its hands full. A difficult road matchup late in the season can prove to be a big challenge for the Lions. New Orleans knows how to win at home, famously going 8-0 at home in 2013. That being said, they’re three years removed from that season with only seven home wins since. However, Detroit’s secondary will have to play at an elite level to defeat Drew Brees down in New Orleans.

4. Week 17 vs Green Bay Packers

It’s the last week of the season, and heavy divisional implications are at play. Either team could be playing for a playoff spot here, so expect this game to be one of the best of the season.

5. Week 12 vs Minnesota Vikings (Thanksgiving)

Yet again, the Detroit Lions will be playing on Thanksgiving. Detroit performed well last year, with Matthew Stafford throwing for five touchdowns and putting up 45 points against the Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit will look to shut down Adrian Peterson in November, a known late-season performer, to gain a stronghold in the division entering the final quarter of the season.

6. Week 16 at Dallas Cowboys

No one knows what kind of football team the Dallas Cowboys are. After flipping from 12-4 to 4-12 over the past two seasons, nothing would really surprise America at this point. One thing we do know is that the Cowboys are 16-20 with Tony Romo as their starter in the final month of the year.

7. Week 15 at New York Giants

Like their division rivals, the New York Giants will be an unpredictable team in 2016. It could be a tough game for the Lions if New York is having one of their historic hot streaks. 

8. Week 4 @ Chicago Bears

A revamped Bears defense could prove tough to fight in Chicago. But this early season matchup isn’t likely to have harsh winter conditions, making the Bears offense a small threat to the Lions defense.

Make sure to also check out our list of the eight easiest games on Detroit’s schedule.