5 most important games on the Lions 2024 schedule

USA Today

As anticipation builds for the unveiling of the Detroit Lions’ 2024 schedule tomorrow, excitement is palpable among fans eager to see the sequence of matchups that will define their season. Following their electrifying journey to the NFC Championship game last year, expectations are high for the Lions, with prime-time slots likely to abound in recognition of their remarkable performance.

In this upcoming season, the Lions will face a mix of familiar foes and formidable challengers from the AFC, promising an intriguing array of matchups. With playoff rematches and divisional rivalries adding spice to the schedule, each game is poised to be a spectacle of skill and strategy.

As the schedule is unveiled tomorrow, anticipation will give way to analysis as fans eagerly dissect the lineup of opponents and dates. Each game represents a chapter in the Lions’ quest for glory, and the journey begins with the revelation of their path forward.

As we await the official schedule release, it’s worth highlighting five games that stand out as pivotal moments for the Lions this season.

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Buffalo Bills

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 24: Benito Jones #94 of the Detroit Lions sacks Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at Ford Field on November 24, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Outside of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills are heavy favorites to make a run in the AFC toward the Super Bowl. The Lions’ matchup with the Bills holds significant importance for both teams. Beyond the traditional conference rivalry, this game serves as a barometer of each team’s strength and potential playoff contention.

For the Lions, facing the Bills presents an opportunity to measure themselves against an AFC powerhouse, showcasing their ability to compete with top-tier teams from the opposing conference. Additionally, with both teams likely harboring playoff aspirations, a victory in this game could provide crucial momentum and confidence as they navigate the grueling NFL season.

Thanksgiving matchup

Nov 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) passes the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter during the annual Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a time-honored tradition for the Lions to host one of the three Thanksgiving games, yet unfortunately, luck hasn’t been on their side as they haven’t clinched a Thanksgiving victory since 2016. While the opponent for this cherished matchup remains unknown, the significance of this game transcends mere competition; it could mark a turning point for the Lions. Depending on their performance thus far, this game might hold pivotal importance in their playoff aspirations.

Typically a divisional matchup, it adds an extra layer of intensity to the divisional race. Breaking this streak would not only be a triumph on the field but a momentous occasion for Lions fans nationwide, giving them something truly special to celebrate come Thanksgiving.

Dallas Cowboys

Dec 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell argues with officials during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This game should go without saying the Lions are looking for revenge against the Cowboys, as last year created an uproar everywhere with the controversial penalty that ultimately led to a Lions loss in a crucial time for playoff seeding. For the Lions, facing off against the Cowboys presents an opportunity to prove their mettle against a perennial contender and establish themselves as legitimate challengers in the league.

Moreover, given the Cowboys’ large national following and iconic status, a victory over them would not only boost the Lions’ confidence but also garner attention and respect across the NFL landscape. Conversely, the Cowboys will view this game as a chance to assert their dominance and maintain their position as one of the league’s elite teams. With playoff implications likely looming, every play in this matchup will carry added significance.

Green Bay Packers

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams (9) runs against Green Bay Packers cornerback Corey Ballentine (35) during the second half at Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.

As one of the NFL’s most enduring and heated rivalries, every showdown between the Lions and the Packers brims with historical significance and fierce competition. Last season, they split their encounters, but the Lions endured a particularly painful defeat at the hands of the Packers on Thanksgiving, marking one of their most bitter losses. Buoyed by a strong second-half performance in 2023, the Packers are eager to reclaim their status as the Kings of the North.

However, the Lions are not ones to concede easily. Motivated by the desire to avenge their Thanksgiving defeat and defend their title, they are prepared to fight tooth and nail. With both teams likely to be in contention for the division title, their matchups will carry significant playoff implications.

San Francisco 49ers

49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk catches the ball over Lions cornerback Kindle Vildor in the third quarter of the NFC championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024.

No introduction is necessary for this highly anticipated matchup. The Lions are hungry for redemption against the 49ers, who stood as the last obstacle on their path to a Super Bowl berth, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of fans and players alike. It’s evident that this game holds special significance for everyone within the Lions organization, with revenge at the forefront of their minds. A victory against the 49ers would not only exorcise past demons but also position the Lions as prime contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

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