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NFL preseason schedule rumor: Lions to host Patriots for ‘dress rehearsal’ game

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Detroit’s biggest preseason game will apparently be against the Super Bowl champs.

Detroit Lions v New England Patriots Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

April is NFL schedule month, and while the regular season schedule isn’t expected to be announced for another few weeks, the preseason schedule is likely to be released in full in the upcoming days.

Thanks to a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss—the company’s Patriots beat writer—we may already know the details for the most important preseason game. According to Reiss, the Patriots will be coming to town to face the Detroit Lions in the third week of the preseason.

From a Patriots standpoint, I’m told the often-most-important third preseason game will be on the road at Detroit.

As alluded to by Reiss, the third preseason game is often the most important, as teams typically decide to play their starters for the longest period of time during that game, and actually gameplan a little too.

You may remember that these two teams faced off in the third week of the preseason quite recently. In 2013, the Lions blasted the Patriots 40-9, leading many to believe Detroit was going to be for real that year. They caused four turnovers in the first five Patriots possessions and took a 16-3 lead into halftime, when the starters were eventually pulled.

Of course, like every year, the preseason turned out to be a pretty bad predictor of the teams’ future success. The Lions went 7-9 that year after an epic collapse to end the season, ultimately ending in the firing of Jim Schwartz. The Patriots, on the other hand, went 12-4 and lost in the AFC Championship game.

We still don’t know the time and TV schedule of the Lions’ preseason, but that is expected to be out as early as this week.