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Lions schedule 2015: Several storylines already developing

Thanks to what has happened so far during free agency, several storylines are already developing for the Detroit Lions' 2015 schedule.

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL schedule won't officially be released until next month, but we already know all of the Detroit Lions' opponents for next season. As a result, several storylines are already developing for the Lions' 2015 schedule given what has happened in free agency over the last week or so. Let's take a look at some of the more notable storylines for 2015:

Changes in the NFC North

The Green Bay Packers don't look much different considering all they've really done is re-sign Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga, but some notable moves have been made in Chicago and Minnesota. Specifically, the Bears traded away Brandon Marshall and added Pernell McPhee, Antrel Rolle and Eddie Royal. On top of that, they have a new coaching staff to go along with those new players. In Minnesota, meanwhile, the Vikings got rid of Greg Jennings after trading for Mike Wallace, and they also signed former Lions quarterback Shaun Hill. It will be interesting to see how all of these new faces affect the NFC North race in 2015.

Reggie Bush's return to Ford Field

After being released by the Lions, Reggie Bush decided to join the San Francisco 49ers. With the 49ers playing at the Lions this year, Bush will get to take on his former team at Ford Field (assuming he's healthy, of course).

High-profile home games

The Lions have a pretty stacked home schedule. In addition to their division rivals and the 49ers, the Lions are scheduled to host the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders this year. The Cardinals, Broncos and Eagles in particular stand out as notable opponents considering Arizona made the playoffs last season, Peyton Manning is back for Denver and Philadelphia has had an absolutely insane offseason.

An up-close look at the revamped Eagles and Saints

To expand on that point about the Eagles, they've had a wild few weeks. Notable players like Todd Herremans, Cary Williams and Trent Cole were released in recent weeks, and Philly caused quite a stir by trading LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for Kiko Alonso and Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford. What's more, the Eagles have been busy in free agency by signing Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray.

The New Orleans Saints, which will play host to the Lions this season, have also had a wild few weeks. They traded Jimmy Graham to Seattle, Ben Grubbs to Kansas City and Kenny Stills to Miami. In return, they got Max Unger, Dannell Ellerbe and a couple of draft picks. In addition, the Saints signed C.J. Spiller and Brandon Browner. Needless to say, this Saints team will look quite a bit different than the team that lost in Detroit last season.

Golden Tate returns to Seattle

Having to take on "The 12th Man" and a Seattle Seahawks team that now features Jimmy Graham could really be a storyline on its own. However, the more notable thing about the Lions' trip to Seattle is that it will be Golden Tate's first opportunity to go up against his former team. There's been some drama between him and Russell Wilson, so it will be interesting to see what kind of reception Tate gets.

Facing Nick Fairley and Aaron Donald

With Nick Fairley joining the St. Louis Rams, the Lions will get to go up against him when they head to St. Louis this year. They will also get an up-close look at the Rams' defensive tackle combination of Fairley and Aaron Donald, which easily could have been the Lions' defensive tackle combination had certain things played out differently.

Going back to London

Finally, this storyline doesn't have anything to do with free agency, but the Lions are going to return to London this year to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Lions' trip overseas last year produced a dramatic win over the Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit will be hoping for another victory this year at Wembley Stadium.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.