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O'HARA: A look back at how the Lions have fared following the bye week

While head coach Dan Campbell was doing a deep dive during the bye week to see how he could improve the Detroit Lions for the final 12 games, I was diving into the history and record books to see how the Lions have performed coming off their bye week.

Good news for Lions fans. In good times, bad times and whatever's in between, you can buy into the Lions after their bye week.

In the last 10 seasons, from 2012-2022, the Lions have a 7-2 won-loss record with one tie in their first game after the bye week. There are no guarantees, but at least the Lions will have history on their side when they face the Dallas Cowboys on the road Sunday.

Following is a breakdown of how the Lions have fared in the last 10 seasons in their first game after the bye:


Lions 26, Eagles 23 in Philadelphia. Jason Hanson's field goal won it in overtime for the Lions. It made the Lions' record 2-3. They got to 4-4 before going in a slump and losing their last eight games to finish 4-12.

Highlight: Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson set the record formerly held by Jerry Rice with 1,964 receiving yards.


Lions 21, Bears 19 at Soldier Field. The Lions' broke up the Bears attempt at a two-point conversion when they scored a TD with less than a minute left.

Highlight: The win gave the Lions' first control on the NFC North with a 6-3 record. Unfortunately, they went 1-6 the rest of the way to finish 7-9. The Bears won the division with a meager 8-7-1 record.


Lions 20, Dolphins 16 at Ford Field. That made the Lions 7-2 and on the way to an 11-5 record under first-year head coach Jim Caldwell.

Highlight: The Lions finished 11-5 to make the playoffs led by a defense that ranked No. 2 in the league overall and No. 1 against the run.


Lions 18, Packers 16 at Lambeau Field. The Lions had a 1-7 record and managed to pull off the upset. They went 6-2 in the second half to finish 7-9.

Highlight: The win was the Lions' first on the road over the Packers since 1991. Winning the game was like having a 10-ton cheesehead taken off every member of the franchise.


Lions 26, Jaguars 19 at Ford Field. The win was the second in a five-game winning streak.

Highlight: The Lions finished 9-7 to make the playoffs as a wild card for the second time under Caldwell.


Steelers 20, Lions 15 at Ford Field. The Lions rebounded to win three straight games and five of the next seven.

Highlight: The Lions finished 9-7 for the third winning record in four years under Caldwell, but they missed the playoffs.


Lions 32, Dolphins 21 on the road. That made the Lions 3-3, but they would finish 6-10.

Highlight: A 26-10 win at Ford Field in Week 3 over the New England Patriots, where Lions head coach Matt Patricia was an assistant coach before coming to Detroit.


Packers 23, Lions 22 at Lambeau. It made the Lions' record 2-2-1.

Highlight: A win over the Giants made the Lions 3-3-1 and in position to make a playoff run. They did not win another game.


Lions 34, Jaguars 16. The Lions got to .500 the next week with a win over Atlanta, but they never got above .500.

Turnover: A coaching change was made after a one-sided loss on Thanksgiving Day. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was elevated to interim head coach and went 1-4 the rest of the way.


Lions 16, Steelers 16. At least it stopped the losing streak after eight in a row.

Highlight: Campbell made good on his pledge to use his time during the bye to take a deep dive into what the Lions had been doing. Most prominent among the changes was Campbell taking over calling plays on offense.

The Lions were competitive in most of their remaining games, and they carried that over to the 2022 season. However, they've still been unable to win games, as their 1-4 record shows.

Hence, another deep dive.

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