NFL schedule 2023 leaks: Release date, Detroit Lions games, opponents

Detroit Free Press

The NFL’s big post-draft event is here: The NFL schedule 2023 release. But when will all 32 teams have their schedules?

Well, news is trickling out with announcements of dates for some matchups, including the international series schedule, and primetime games on Black Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

The Detroit Lions know their 17 opponents, which includes eight home games and nine on the road, but we don’t yet know the week-to-week schedule.

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We do know the 2023 opener will feature the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting an opponent Thursday, Sept. 7, and Week 1 commences Sept. 10.

Here’s an FAQ with everything you need to know about the NFL’s schedule release, with live updates from NFL newsbreakers and reporters below. And check back on all throughout Thursday for our live updates, as more Lions leaks and confirmations come out, as well as analysis and game predictions once we have the schedule.

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When will NFL schedule be released?

Officially on television Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, NFL Network, NFL+, the NFL app and YouTube.

A handful of games will be released earlier Thursday, by both NBC on the “Today Show” and on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ESPN’s “NFL Live” will announce one “Monday Night Football” on its 4 p.m. show.

ESPN2’s show Thursday night will be led by the “NFL Live” crew of former Lions QB Dan Orlovsky, former NFL defensive lineman Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes and insider Field Yates.

NFL Network’s coverage will be led by Rich Eisen (University of Michigan graduate) and Colleen Wolfe, with analysis from former NFL players Maurice Jones-Drew and Emmanuel Sanders.

The show on NFL+, the league’s streaming subscription service, is billed as the “Players Only Schedule Release.” Andrew Siciliano hosts with analysts Daniel Jeremiah and free agent running back Mark Ingram. Guests will include three players on current teams: Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson, and New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive end Cam Jordan.

Steamers can find a release show on the NFL Channel through the league’s app, Roku, Peacock and other TV apps (more here) and YouTube, hosted by Patrick Claybon, Okemos’ Cynthia Frelund and Gregg Rosenthal.

Individual game tickets will be available for purchase immediately through the NFL’s partnerships with Ticketmaster and SeatGeek.

More: Drafting Hendon Hooker means Detroit Lions are in for good, old-fashioned QB controversy

Anything different about NFL schedule for 2023?

Yes there are a bunch of new items to watch, beginning this season.

First, 2023 is the debut season under an 11-year broadcast deal worth more than $100 billion. Yes, billion. So the changes are due to the new contract. Let’s rattle off the most visible changes:

  • Black Friday game: The NFL has the Miami Dolphins at New York Jets set for Nov. 24, the Friday after Thanksgiving, airing on Amazon’s Prime Video.
  • “Monday Night Football” gets flex scheduling, more doubleheaders: The self-proclaimed worldwide leader will be allowed to flex Sunday games into Monday night between Week 14 and Week 17 (there are 18 weeks each season). Teams must be given notice 12 days in advance, so by the Tuesday a week beforehand. … ESPN/ABC will broadcast three different “side-by-side” doubleheaders. There was only one in 2022, with one game kicking off at 7:15 p.m. and the other at 8:30 p.m. We’ll see if start times are staggered again this year.
  • AFC on CBS and NFC on Fox? Not so much: Another break from tradition is here. The old rules had CBS getting all Sunday afternoon games involving two AFC teams, and any interconference games with the AFC as the visitor. Fox had all Sunday afternoon games involving two NFC teams, and interconference games with the NFC as the visitor. Now, expect to see more Lions games on CBS this season, outside of the traditional Thanksgiving Day game and occasional home game vs. an AFC team. The conference-network relationships are not being totally done away with — Fox/NFC and CBS/AFC still have appearance minimums per team, so Fox can get most Cowboys games and CBS can protect Chiefs games — but Sunday games are now “free agents” or “jump balls.” There is no tie between network and conference.
  • “Thursday Night Football” doubles: Teams can now appear on Amazon Prime Video’s TNF twice this season.
  • No primetime guarantees: There will be some teams left off the primetime schedule, which should be an improvement on the product for fans. This was not the case under the previous rights deal, where every team was ensured at least one primetime/national TV contest.

Which NFL games are overseas for 2023?

The NFL on Wednesday morning officially announced its international series for 2023, with five games taking place in both England and Germany. Jacksonville will play back-to-back weeks overseas for the first time.

  • Week 4: Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Oct. 1 (London)
  • Week 5: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills, Oct. 8 (Tottenham, London)
  • Week 6: Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans, Oct. 15 (Tottenham, London)
  • Week 9: Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Nov. 5 (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Week 10: Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots, Nov. 12 (Frankfurt, Germany)

Big rematches on the docket

This season has 14 playoff rematches from 2022, most notably a Super Bowl 57 matchup between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Kansas City.

This includes a Christmas Day game on Monday night between the Eagles and New York Giants (Philly dominated last season’s NFC divisional playoff game, 38-7) and New Year’s Eve showdown on Saturday with the Chiefs hosting the Cincinnati Bengals (Chiefs won an epic AFC championship game, 23-20).

More: Grading the Detroit Lions’ NFL draft: Brad Holmes got his guys, but at what price?

Who are the Detroit Lions’ opponents for 2023?

The Lions, after finishing 9-8 in 2022, with eight wins in their final 10 games, play a second-place schedule after finishing second in the NFC North. That means they’ll play only the second-place team in three cross-division games in 2023: vs. Seattle Seahawks (9-8, second in NFC West) at Dallas Cowboys (12-5, second in NFC East) and at Baltimore Ravens (10-7, second in AFC North), which juices up their strength of schedule.

Each team in the NFC North plays each other twice, and plays each team in both the NFC South and AFC West.

The Lions play eight games against 2022 playoff teams, six on the road.

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Here are the Lions’ opponents, both home and away:

*Indicates 2022 playoff team


  • Chicago Bears (3-14 in 2022)
  • Green Bay Packers (8-9)
  • *Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
  • Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
  • Carolina Panthers (7-10)
  • Denver Broncos (5-12)
  • Las Vegas Raiders (6-11)
  • *Seattle Seahawks (9-8)


  • Chicago Bears (3-14)
  • Green Bay Packers (8-9)
  • *Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
  • New Orleans Saints (7-10)
  • *Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
  • *Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)
  • *Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)
  • *Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
  • *Baltimore Ravens (10-7)

More: Worried about the Detroit Lions’ defense? It was better than you think in 2022

Check out our podcast episode with Dave Birkett, Shawn Windsor and Carlos Monarrez reacting to the Lions’ roster post-NFL draft.

Live NFL updates

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