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What Just Happened? Lions Schedule Release Edition

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions schedule release

NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Man, it feels good to type the words “What Just Happened?” It’s been 130 days since the last time we got to do that. Now that the schedule is out, it’ll be another 98 days before we’ll get to do it again. And right now, that’s a big maybe. So let’s enjoy this while we can.

As always, I have some thoughts. These are those thoughts.

Quarterback talent everywhere

In 2020 alone, the Lions have to play against Aaron Rodgers twice, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Deshaun Watson. Phew, that’s pretty intimidating. The good news for the Lions is that these games are spread out nicely and all but two of these matchups are at home.

There are some questions here, too, when it comes to quarterbacks on new teams. Nobody knows how Rivers will work out with the Colts. Likewise, nobody knows how Brady will be with the Buccaneers, even if many are ready to crown them already. Either way, it’ll be very interesting to see how things work out, and how the Lions handle it at home.

Outside of the heavy hitters, the Lions are playing a ton of teams with new or relatively new quarterbacks. The Bears will likely be rolling with Nick Foles, the Jaguars with Gardner Minshew, the Panthers with Teddy Bridgewater, the Redskins with Dwayne Haskins and the Titans with Ryan Tannehill.

This could bode well for the Lions or it could be one of the things that kills them. It’s really going to depend on what the Lions defense winds up becoming.

Hope you’re not too sick of staying inside

Out of the Lions 16 games in 2020, only five of them are outside. Those are the games against the Bears, Jaguars, Titans, Packers and Panthers. This is really good for a team that’s used to playing indoor ball at home, especially in the dead of winter.

The Lions will have to play in Chicago in the beginning of December. But it’s all indoor from there, outside of a trip to Tennessee where they shut the state down for one inch of snow because it happens there so rarely. Trust me, I know. I used to live there. Per Weather Spark, the average temperature in Nashville last December was anywhere from 33 to 55 degrees.

The news that should make everyone in Detroit and even Green Bay happy is that the Lions will not be playing the Packers in Week 17 for the fifth year in a row.

No night games

For the first time since 2010, the Lions will not be playing a nationally-televised game at night. That’s insane, but it’s also a welcome sight, in my opinion. The Lions playing at 1 p.m. ET nearly every Sunday could be cool. Consistency is fun and stuff. Who wants to wait until Monday night? Frankly, do you want to see the Lions play at night after the last outing? Remember what happened the last time the Lions played at night? I’m sure Trey Flowers does.

The Lions do have one late start in 2020 when they play the Cardinals for the 257th season in a row. That’s as close as you’ll get to seeing the Lions play at night in 2020. That is unless the Lions get flexed into a night game late in the season. Keep an eye on Week 16’s game against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

Remember this?

Well there’s a chance it could happen again in 2020. The Lions are welcoming Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans into Ford Field on Thanksgiving in 2020. This could be a tough game for the Lions. But it will be a welcome break for the Lions playing a division game on the holiday. Here’s hoping you’ll get to enjoy your turkey with a win this year.

Early bye week again

Who likes the bye week to be super early in the season? Yeah, I didn’t expect many people to stand up and cheer for that.

Well, here we go again. The Lions will be taking a break in Week 5 this season—same as last year, and just one off from their 2018 Week 6 bye. The Lions will have to keep the injury list clean late in the season since there will be no reprieve.

CBS could mean a Romo game or two

The Lions are playing on CBS three times in 2020. If you like the way Tony Romo calls football games, you could get to hear him spoil all the Lions plays this year. I would bet that he will be on the Thanksgiving day call.

There’s a chance none of this means anything

I hate to say this, but COVID-19 looms perilously over this entire schedule release, which means there’s an entire asterisk over every game here. The NFL is clearly very eager to get back to work, but it might not entirely up to them.

If state officials don’t want sports or gatherings of more than a certain amount of people to happen in September, then the NFL may be forced to postpone or make different arrangements. Back in early April, California governor Gavin Newsom said he doesn’t anticipate sporting events with fans in the stands by September. There’s a strong chance that some, if not all, of these games will be played in empty stadiums.

It’s unprecedented rimes right now. Here’s hoping that everything is back to normal in September, and we can all head out to the game.