NFL: Checking out how the Lions have done after their bye week

Detroit Lions Sport News


  • At 6-2, the Lions have the second-best record in the NFC behind the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • The Lions are coming off a bye week as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2019.
  • Detroit’s offense ranks No. 2 in the NFL in yards and eighth in points, while the defense ranks No. 2 against the run.

With no game, it was a long, slow Sunday for Lions fans.

Detroit’s NFC North rivals Minnesota and Green Bay each won Sunday, but the Lions remain 1.5 games ahead of the Vikings for first place and remain big favorites to win the division at Michigan sportsbooks.

Multiple Lions are in the running for post-season honors. DraftKings has Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs third to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Lions star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson fourth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. Dan Campbell remains the strong favorite at Caesars to win the Coach of the Year award.

Hopefully, the bye hasn’t stopped the Lions momentum. They’ve won five out of their last six games. They should be rested and ready for the second half of the season.

How Have the Lions Done after byes?

First of all, the NFL did the Lions a big favor giving them their bye at this point of the season – right at the halfway mark. In the last five years, the Lions bye was Week 6 or before four times.
After bye weeks in the last five years, the Lions are 2-2-1, I know, no trend there. Under Campbell the last two years, the Lions tied the Steelers at 16 in Week 10, and lost to Dallas last year.

Interestingly enough, the Lions have played on the road five straight times after their bye week. This year it will be six. However, in their last five games after byes, the Lions have covered the spread four times, and hit the under four times.

The Young Cubs

After his breakout performance in Week 8 against the hapless Raiders, it’s no surprise that Gibbs is among the favorites to be NFL Rookie of the Year, but really, the Lions have gotten a great lift from their entire 2023 Draft Class.

Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has already set the franchise record for rookie tight ends with catches and has become a big threat in the offense, and defensive back Brian Branch has become a lockdown corner.

When your rookies are stepping into big positions and performing, that’s a great sign.

Don’t Scoff at Goff

People keep saying the same thing about Lions quarterback Jared Goff – that he’s playing the best football of his career right now.

That may be a stretch, remember, Goff did take the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2019, but Goff seems perfectly at ease running Ben Johnson’s offense. Entering Week 9, Goff was fourth in the NFL in passing yards and the ninth-highest rated passer.

It’s such a quarterback-centric league now, you can’t help but focus on Goff, but the true heroes for the Lions have been an offensive line that has given him time to throw. Lion quarterbacks have been sacked 16 times this season, the second fewest of any team in the league. The chemistry and play of the Lions offensive line is the biggest reason the Lions are expected to reach the playoffs this season.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.