2006 Detroit Lions Schedule

With a revamped coaching staff and new quarterback in place, most Detroit Lions fans have mentally prepared themselves to be happy with an 8-8 season. Of course, the free-agent signing period isn’t over, the draft is still weeks away, teams will continue remolding, and any predictions regarding 2006 are certainly wild speculation. But what’s a little wild speculation between fans?

Then again, such a mind game might represent a little early ulcer-inducing for backers of the silver-and-blue; one glance says the first two games are gonna be doozies. None other than the defending NFC championships come to town to kick things off on September 10 (hey, at least it’s at home). Think the Ford Field turf will slow Shaun Alexander’s game? The following week, it’ll be the Bears in Chicago; assuming the division champions do not decline too gravely from their NFC North domination in 2005 (and, barring injuries, little thus far indicates they will), game two could be an early long one for Motor City folk.

Weeks three and five feature games with the Lions and North division mates: On September 24, Detroit will host Green Bay and will travel to Minnesota on October 8. Assuming the Vikings and Packers do not improve too dramatically from their lowly statuses of last year (and, with reshuffling at QB for both, little thus far indicates they will), the Lions may very well be in the thick of the hunt come December.

Most significant in this lighter load would seem to the November 5 game against Atlanta. Following a Lions bye week, this game makes for the midpoint of each team’s season. The Detroit squad could be working themselves up to 4-4 at this point, but optimism not too extreme hints the cats could be a bit better than that. In the traditional Thanksgiving game, the Miami Dolphins come to town.

Things get serious pretty quickly in December, though. If the Lions are flying high in November, their December timetable doubtlessly threatens to bring them back to earth. December 2006 features five Sundays, a boon for football fans and a hard schedule for their guys. On December 3, the Lions find themselves in the confines of Gillette Stadium to square off against the Patriots; barring disaster striking the beaneaters, this game is a scary prospect as it always has been this decade. The cold New England game is chased by a back-and-forth slate against Minnesota, at Green Bay, and against Chicago on December 10, 17 and Christmas Eve, respectively.

Closing the season on New Year’s Eve is a matchup in Dallas to face the Cowboys, a team that must surely be considered a playoff contender in the midst of perhaps the NFL’s toughest division. The cowpokes may be ornery on the last day of 2006, to the Lions’ detriment. On the other hand, the cats may also be fighting to play another day in 2007.

Again, however, it should be said. Realistically speaking, nobody knows what shape the quarterback scylla of Kitna, King and McCown will take. Nobody knows if this is the year the Lions draft a first-round pick that sticks. Nobody knows the million results of the million stumbling blocks that will occur even before the preseason, and speaking of games in the 2006 season is idle chatter.

Sure is fun, though, isn’t it?

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