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Friday open thread: Ranking the Detroit Lions’ 5 most watchable games in 2018

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Here’s our picks for the five most watchable games for the Detroit Lions’ 2018 season.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions’ 2018 regular season schedule is out, and while none of the opponents were surprising, there were some some interesting quirks revealed on Thursday night. Take, for example, the fact that the Lions will host a primetime game twice in the first three weeks of the season. Or that Detroit will play the Chicago Bears twice in just 11 days.

But with the schedule out in its entirety, it’s time to rank the top five games in terms of their watchability. Today’s Question of the Day is:

What are the five most watchable games on the Detroit Lions’ 2018 schedule?

My answer.

5. Week 16 vs. Vikings

The Lions and Vikings have been one of the most evenly-matched teams in the NFC North over the past few years. Not only did the two teams split the season series in 2017, but each team has won three games against each other since 2015. Having this matchup as the penultimate game in the schedule raises the stakes to a huge level.

4. Week 12 vs. Rams

I know there are plenty of you that are already tired of the “Ndamukong Suh returns to Detroit” storyline, but there’s intrigue there, whether you like it or not. Of course, even if that wasn’t an interesting narrative, this could be a game with huge NFC playoff implications. The Rams are looking to make a Super Bowl run, while the Lions are likely to, at the very least, still be in the playoff hunt in early December.

3. Week 12 vs. Bears (Thanksgiving)

Everybody knows #WeOwnTheBears, as the Lions have won nine of the past 10 in this divisional rivalry. However, the Bears are almost certainly a team on the rise under quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. And though Detroit has dominated this matchup recently, nearly every game has been competitive. Since 2012, only two of 12 games were decided by more than one possession.

Plus, it’s Thanksgiving.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia won’t have to wait long to face off against his mentor and former team. Lions vs. Patriots has been a one-sided affair over the past two decade or so, but many believe the New England dynasty is on the verge of dying, while a new age is beginning in Detroit. We’re still a long ways from any of that being true, but a Lions win here would be a huge symbolic moment in franchise history.

1. Week 17 vs. Packers

What is now becoming an annual tradition, the season finale against the Packers could be the source of some serious NFC North drama. Though last season’s finale was completely meaningless, the Lions and Packers have had some epically exciting matchups in the past. In 2016, the teams faced off on Sunday night to determine the division winner. The NFC North was on the line in 2014, too.

While the Packers have been far more successful as a franchise, this rivalry has been much more competitive as of late. Since 2014, the Lions are 4-4 against Green Bay.

Your turn.