It was yet another Sunday without Detroit Lions football, but unlike previous prime time affairs this season, we still await kickoff. That’s the nature of “Monday Night Football,” saving the best for last—right?
The Lions have played twice on Thursday this season (wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers), but this will be their first time playing on Monday since 2021. That game, just the second of the Dan Campbell era, ended with a 35-17 loss to the Packers. It was not a stellar first impression for the head coach known mostly for his kneecap comments. The times have changed, however, and there is more optimism in Detroit locally and nationally, even in the face of a brutal loss to the Baltimore Ravens the week prior.
Will that optimism continue after their Monday bout with the Las Vegas Raiders?
Historically, the Lions have not fared well on Mondays. Since 2010, the Lions are 5-8 and on a three-game losing skid. Two of the losses were at the hands of the Packers (2019 and 2021), while the third was a Week 1 blowout loss to the New York Jets in 2018 that made rookie Sam Darnold look like an elite quarterback. These types of streaks are meaningless in the end, as these 2023 Lions are far different than their past counterparts—for one, the Lions look like NFC North favorites, especially after a serious injury to Kirk Cousins for the Minnesota Vikings.
Aside from the obvious spotlight of playing in the lone game of the day, “Monday Night Football” also means an extra day of preparation for teams and an extra day for injured players to recover. In the case of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was added to the injury report on Sunday, this could be the difference between being active, limited, or even dressed. The extra day does mean having to wait for Lions football, and given how poorly the Ravens game went, Lions fans are eager for a turnaround performance.
However, some folks might not like the Monday matchup. The delay can be a double-edged sword, as playing on Monday means a shorter ensuing week. Thankfully, the Lions do not have to worry about this with their bye upcoming. Being in the spotlight is not everyone’s cup of tea either, since a poor performance on national television can kill any good will or hype that may be brewing. The Lions have also been afterthoughts on many prime time broadcasts—many fans will know of the Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers praising that has occurred during prime time games. It’s one thing to be an underdog, but it’s another to have the broadcast pile on.
With the Lions and Raiders slated to close out Week 8, they will be in the spotlight. But is that a spotlight you like?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you like when the Lions play on “Monday Night Football”?
My answer: I don’t like playing on Monday night.
In recent years, I disliked “Monday Night Football” for the broadcast, but after acquiring Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the quality has improved (though the overall quality will always be up for debate). I think ESPN puts on a decent enough showing, though I have found replays lacking at times. The Lions are also the favorites entering the game, meaning the broadcast should be more balanced.
My reason for disliking Monday night games is simple: I don’t like waiting. Patience may be a virtue, but Sundays feel somewhat empty without a Lions game. Sure, it means being able to watch more football with the Lions not occupying my attention for the day, but it also means that “Monday Night Football” is no longer my relaxing evening entertainment—what can I say, I’m a creature of habit. It is at least better than a Thursday game, as the wait between those games can feel like an eternity. There is also the fear of the Lions embarrassing themselves on national television. As mentioned, struggling in the spotlight is never fun, and it would also mean little payoff for the extra day of waiting.
Yet given that the Lions are shaping up to be competitors, prime time games are something that need to be welcomed, not feared. If the Lions are to be classified as a good team, it will mean more games in the spotlight.
Are you a fan of playing on Monday night? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments below.
Do you like when the Lions play on "Monday Night Football"?
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