The Detroit Lions 2022 schedule is out, and there’s a lot to break down from the 18-week slate. We’ll have our game-by-game predictions shortly, but in the meantime, here are my quick observations of what stood out from the Lions’ perspective.
No primetime games
NFL fans and media may slowly be falling in love with Dan Campbell and the Lions—and that’s only going to increase with “Hard Knocks” this summer—but they still haven’t gained the trust of the people in charge of schedule making. Even last year, the Lions had one “Monday Night Football” game in primetime. This year, nada. (Note: I don’t consider a 12:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Game “primetime.”)
Of course, it’s worth noting that “Sunday Night Football” games can change starting in Week 5, so the Lions will essentially have to earn any primetime games for the 2022 season.
All early games
Another oddity in Detroit’s schedule is that every single game is in the early slate. The Lions will play every game at 1 p.m. ET in 2022, except for the Thanksgiving game, which starts 30 minutes earlier. The Lions’ Week 18 game against the Packers does not have a date or time yet, so that could potentially change.
This isn’t much of a surprise, though. The Lions only play one game on the road against a team that traditionally plays in the late window (Cowboys), but that game is set for 1 p.m. ET. That sort of rhythm to the schedule certainly benefits the Lions.
Get ready for some cold games
Last year, the Lions got pretty lucky when it came to their outdoor games. They played in Chicago and Green Bay in the first four games of the season. Their only road outdoor games in November and beyond were Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Denver, and Seattle—and none of those games were below-freezing temperatures at the time of kickoff.
Detroit may not get so lucky this year. They play both the Giants and Jets on the road late in the year (November 20, and December 18, respectively). They’ll also have to travel to Lambeau for the final game of the season in January. Even their game in Chicago on November 13 could have some nasty weather.
Nice balance of home and away games
The Lions only have to go on the road in back-to-back weeks twice in the entire schedule (a third time is interrupted by Detroit’s Week 6 bye). On the flip side, the Lions have a nice three-game home stand kicked off by their Thanksgiving game against the Bills—followed by contests against the Jaguars and Vikings.
That being said, three out of the Lions’ final four games will be on the road, and they could very well be in the hunt for a playoff spot then.
In addition to their yearly Thanksgiving game, the Lions will play on two other holidays. Schedule makers did a nice favor to the Lions media by ensuring Detroit goes on the road Saturday, December 24— Christmas Eve—instead of Sunday, giving everyone the opportunity to fly back from Carolina and spend the holiday with family.
Don’t stay up too late on New Year’s Eve, as the Lions will host a potentially pivotal game against the Chicago Bears on New Year’s Day.
It’s not really a holiday, but Detroit will also play on the day before Halloween, so expect a lot of people in costumes at Ford Field when Detroit suits up against the Dolphins.