As the Nets have been slowly piecing together their franchise rebuild, hamstrung by the team’s 2013 draft-pick giveaway, they’ve sought to find talent wherever it’s available, even if that leads to redundancy on the roster.
That would appear to be the case at point guard, where the Nets traded for D’Angelo Russell this summer despite still having Jeremy Lin on hand.
The December slate isn’t as daunting as last season’s, but it’s still not easy. Two consecutive road games — luckily, their longest road “trip” of the season — against two playoff caliber teams will test Detroit’s ability to win close games down the stretch. The Lions avoid playing at Lambeau Field in the depths of winter for a second consecutive year, but they’ll still be tested in the elements on Christmas Eve in Cincinnati followed by a visit by the Packers.
Lions schedule 2017, record prediction: 8-8
If the Lions can get a few things to swing their way like 2016, their schedule is favorable enough that they can sneak into the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The toughest stretches come in the first half of the season — a tough October, a Monday night game in Week 2 and back-to-back primetime games against the Steelers and Packers.
The offense could be improved if Detroit finds a consistent running game, and the schedule again looks like it’ll test Matthew Stafford’s late-game heroics. If the Lions can put the pieces together early on, the playoffs are possible. If they slip up early, it’ll be an uphill battle. Knowing the Lions, we’ll play it safe with a .500 record.