The Detroit Lions fell to 0-6 on Sunday, but is there’s some solace to be taken in having had a tough schedule?
The Detroit Lions dropped to 0-6 with a 34-11 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, in what was easily their worst game start to finish all season. With the Jacksonville Jaguars pulling out a win over the Miami Dolphins in London on Sunday, the Lions are the league’s only winless team.
The combined record of the Lions’ opponents through six weeks is 22-13 (.629 combined win percentage). Five of those opponents are currently .500 or better, and two (Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens) are 5-1. Even as defeat has been snatched from the jaws of victory a couple times, the Lions have faced some good teams thus far.
In Week 7, they’ll face another good team with a trip to take on the 5-1 Los Angeles Rams and former quarterback Matthew Stafford. A streak of not having an offensive snap with a lead all season may not end at seven games.
The Lions have had a tough schedule based on a deeper metric too
By raw combined win percentage, the Lions have had a tough schedule so far this season. But another, deeper metric proves it further.
Based on Football Outsiders overall DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), as passed along by Aaron Schatz on the premise of believing in the Kansas City Chiefs going forward, the Lions have had the fourth-toughest schedule in the league through six weeks. Say what you will about analytics, but it’s a meaningful footnote mentioning the Lions schedule thus far.
Being less talented than their opponents from top to bottom is enough of an uphill climb for the Lions each week. But particularly since Week 1, they’ve held their own for stretches against some tough opponents. If there’s some solace to take thus far in a bad season, it’s that.