ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When the Detroit Lions schedule came out, most people -- players included -- parsed it to see when the home and road games were, when the division matchups were andwhen the week off was.
Punter Sam Martin looked at the schedule another way. And it might have made him one of the happiest Lions of all.
“How kicker-conducive it is,” Martin said of what he liked about the schedule. “Have 13 games in a dome. That’s the first thing specialists look at and no Chicago or Green Bay in December. I’m super-stoked for the season and right now I’m just working my butt off.”
It might sound simplistic, but the schedule should benefit Martin and kicker Matt Prater immensely. They won’t have to worry about sub-zero Lambeau Field or Soldier Field. The Lions might have to deal with only one cold-weather game all season -- at the New York Giants on Dec. 18.
Otherwise it’s warmer weather and Dome Sweet Dome (or indoor facility). And it does matter.
“It’s not going to make or break your season, let’s put it that way,” Martin said. “If you’re going to have a good season, you’re going to have a good season. The biggest thing for me isn’t the 13 games in a dome.
“It’s Chicago and Green Bay not in December. You saw Week 17 [last] year, how windy that was and how cold that was. Those are the games that you want to avoid but obviously you got to be ready for them. They happen.
“Seeing both those games in September was good to see.”
The Lions go to Green Bay on Sept. 25 and to Chicago a week later, on Oct. 2. Along with the game in New York, those are Detroit’s only outdoor games of the regular season.
Just because the Lions play in an indoor stadium at Ford Field and have 13 indoor games in 2016, Lions general manager Bob Quinn is not building his team to be capable of only winning indoors. He’d like his squad to be able to handle anything that comes at them.
“This team, you know, goes through the NFC North,” Quinn said. “And we’re going to have to play in cold weather against good teams late in the season, so we’re building a team for all conditions.”
Just in 2016, the Lions will have favorable ones almost every week.