The Detroit Lions have not been a team featured in primetime television very often as of late. It’s hard to blame the NFL schedule makers, as the Lions have been one of the worst teams in the league since 2018. In fact, since 2019, the Lions have only played in primetime three times.
But the tides are turning in Detroit. The Lions won eight of their last 10 games in 2022, even earning themselves one of those three primetime games with their season finale against the Packers getting flexed to “Sunday Night Football.”
As the new favorite to win the NFC North and cheeky pick to make some serious noise in the playoffs, the Lions are in the national spotlight. Therefore, it’s fair to say there is reasonable expectation for them to get more primetime games this year when the 2023 NFL schedule is announced on Thursday.
So here are five games I’m hoping are on primetime television for the Lions this year.
Packers at Lions
Here are two horrible facts about the Lions’ schedule over the past few years:
- The Lions haven’t had a home primetime game since 2018
- All of the Lions’ last three primetime games were against the Packers in Lambeau
It’s time for the Packers to come to Detroit and deal with the Ford Field crowd in a hyped-up night environment. It would be a complete reversal of roles, as the Lions would currently be considered favorites and it would be a nice way to welcome Jordan Love to the new NFC North.
Seahawks at Lions
If you’re like me, there’s a bit of a rivalry brewing between Seattle and Detroit right now. Personally, it tracks back to the dreaded Monday night “batted ball” game in Seattle, which I personally attended.
But it’s really ramped up in the past few months, as the Seahawks’ win over the Rams in Week 18 knocked the Lions out of the playoffs, and then Seattle went and grabbed Detroit’s likely target in the draft when they picked Devon Witherspoon right before the Lions were on the clock.
Additionally, these two teams could very well be the future of the NFC. The Seahawks reloaded quicker than many believed after trading Russell Wilson, and the Lions are surging. Get this game on national television and let the rivalry grow.
Panthers at Lions
I would love for this game to be early in the Lions’ schedule, so the Lions can welcome Bryce Young to the NFL via rowdy Detroit fans. I know, I know. Several of you are still recovering from the Monday night opener in 2018, when rookie Sam Darnold tore apart Detroit’s defense for a 48-17 win. But what better way to prove this is the “Brand New Lions” than to beat the crap out of rookie quarterback in their NFL debut on national television?
Lions at Saints
The Saints are another team that has been getting a fair amount of buzz (current NFC South favorites), so this is a game that could have significant playoff seeding implications. But more so than anything, the New Orleans environment in primetime is a magical experience. If this game manages to make it to primetime, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll make it down there for my first trip down to the bayou.
Lions at Cowboys
We’re almost certainly going to be subjected to five Dallas games on primetime this year, so why not make one of them actually worth watching? Dallas and Detroit have produced some of the most memorable Lions games in the past, and there would be no better feeling than beating them in their own stadium in primetime with millions upon millions of people watching.
And as much as I hate the Cowboys, AT&T Stadium is just built for primetime games. This would be another solid road trip candidate.