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2021 Detroit Lions schedule release: What Just Happened?

Immediate thoughts on the Lions’ 2021 schedule.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday evening, the Detroit Lions’ 2021 schedule dropped and there’s a ton of meat on the bone here. A lot of stuff to talk about. So take a break from discussing with your spouse or your friends about what games you’re going to, and let’s talk about it.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite times of every year. It’s like Christmas in the middle of May. It’s like the type of Christmas where you get nothing but all the Power Rangers action figures you asked for. I’m not talking about the regular ones, I mean the ones with the flip heads.

As always, I have thoughts on this schedule release. These are those thoughts.

(If you haven’t seen the Lions’ 2021 schedule, check it out here.)

They actually gave these Lions a prime time game

I’m not sure about you, but this season feels like it’ll be a long season that is necessary to get to building a better team. The Lions aren’t exactly trotting out any superstars this year, and the general belief is that this team won’t be the most fun to watch. Despite that, the Lions will take on NFC North rival’s the Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football” in Week 2.

The good news here is that the Lions won’t have to face the Packers in Green Bay for the last week of the season. What could also wind up being good—and, of course, make things more interesting—is that Aaron Rodgers may not be on the Packers for this game. So who wouldn’t want to see the marquee matchup of Jared Goff vs Jordan Love? Ratings!

Far from home

No, I’m not talking about Spider-Man. I’m talking about the crazy middle part of the season where the Lions don’t have a home game for nearly a month. After the Lions play the Eagles on Halloween, they won’t be back at Ford Field till Thanksgiving day. That’s three-and-a-half weeks. Yes, one of those weeks is the bye week, but still, that’s a long time to be away from home. Ask Spider-Man.

Bye-bye, early bye

How about that sexy bye week by the way? The Lions get a week right smack dab in the middle of the season. It’s the perfect time to rehab injuries, make adjustments and even bring new guys up to speed. This is exactly where you want the bye to be.

Thanksgiving

I felt like the page wasn't big enough for all my thoughts on the Lions playing the Bears on Thanksgiving for the 193rd time in a row, so I made a quick video to go over it.

All the weather in December

It’s looking a little rough in a couple of spots at the end of the year. First, the Lions will have to play the Broncos in Week 14 in Denver. That could be a rough, mid-December matchup. With the snow, altitude, and probably Aaron Rodgers, this could be a blowout for the Broncos.

Two weeks later, they head to Atlanta where you never know what you’re going to get. It could be hot enough to open the roof. The following week is in Seattle where it could be raining or snowing or a combination of the two.

I’m not saying this could affect the team on the field—though it can—I’m also saying there’s going to be some serious allergy issues in the locker room.

What the hell is Week 18?

This is going to take some getting used to. Usually, by January 9 you’re wondering who’s about to get fired around here. This year the Lions will be playing the Packers at home in what could maybe be a meaningful game if the Packers decide to fall apart like the rest of the NFC North hopes they do.

4:00

Get ready for the late games, Lions fans. The good news is you can get your post-breakfast naps in or handle some stuff around the house if you’re weird and you like your responsibilities on Sunday. The bad news is you’re going to have to wait till 4 p.m. ET or a little later three times in 2021. The Lions play the Rams at 4:05 in Week 7, the Broncos at 4:05 in Week 14, and the Seahawks at 4:25 in Week 17. I personally hate 4 p.m. games. It’s too early to do some stuff and too late to do other stuff. When do I eat dinner? during the game? What are we doing here?

Cardinals

I often have nightmares of a world where the rapture happens and everyone goes to the designated good place that your religion, or lack thereof, has you going after death. Meanwhile, Lions and Cardinals fans are sent to hell where the only thing on TV is Lions vs Cardinals games.

The Quarterbacks

This is an interesting group of guys the Lions will be seeing in 2021. Here they are:

  1. Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance
  2. Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love
  3. Lamar Jackson
  4. Andy Dalton or Justin Fields
  5. Kirk Cousins
  6. Joe Burrow
  7. Matthew Stafford (tear)
  8. Jalen Hurts
  9. Ben Roethlisberger
  10. Baker Mayfield
  11. Andy Dalton or Justin Fields
  12. Kirk Cousins
  13. Drew Lock or Aaron Rodgers
  14. Kyler Murray
  15. Matt Ryan
  16. Russell Wilson
  17. Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love

Not exactly a Hall of Fame class here. Sure Rodgers, Stafford, Wilson, and Jackson will be problems, but otherwise, the Lions face a group of pretty young or pretty bad quarterbacks in 2021. There’s also just a ton of uncertainty about who is actually going to start in any of these games. It’s odd.

Hope?

Look, I don’t want to give anyone hope because I don’t think they should have it. But—and it’s a big but—the Lions are one of the only teams in any of these games that I don’t have questions about. We know who the Lions are and we know who a couple of these other teams are too. But for the most part, it’s all a mystery. Are the Lions facing teams that could be bad enough to propel them into the playoffs somehow? Or are they facing teams that all wind up being good?