5 takeaways from the Lions 2024 schedule release

USA Today

We’ve long known who the Detroit Lions would face in the 2024 season, but now, with the NFL’s release of the schedule, we have the when.

Following a standout season, expectations are soaring for the Lions in 2024. The schedule reflects this optimism, with a plethora of primetime and late afternoon games, signaling both fan and league interest in the team’s success. As fans analyze the schedule, it’s evident that there are favorable matchups for the Lions, and depending on how the season unfolds, the endgame could prove especially intriguing.

So, without delay, let’s delve into five key takeaways from the Lions’ 2024 schedule release

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Reunion tour to open season

Oct 24, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) shake hands after the coin flip before the start of the Rams-Lions game at SoFi Stadium. The Goff was traded to thew Lions for Stafford in the off-season. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Lions kicked off the 2023 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, and this year, the schedule makers have once again bestowed upon them a primetime opener. This time, they’ll face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in Detroit. This matchup promises to be highly anticipated as the same storylines from last year will dominate the aura around the game.

The excitement doesn’t end there, as the Lions will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following week, setting up another playoff rematch from 2023. This early schedule will provide a significant test for the Lions, facing two playoff opponents from the previous year, as well as the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, who defeated the Lions in their home opener last season. Undoubtedly, the Lions will be eager to redeem themselves in that matchup.

Cowboys trip following an early bye

Dec 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) walks off the field after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Lions enjoyed a well-placed bye week right in the middle of the season, ideal for recuperation and minimizing injuries. Unfortunately, this year they have an early bye week, which may not fare well if the Lions require that extra rest later in the season. Following the bye week, however, the Lions will be eager to unleash their pent-up frustration on the Cowboys after last season’s debacle.

There’s no doubt that everyone in the Lions camp is primed to channel their anger in Week 5, making it a must-watch showdown. Depending on how the season unfolds in the first four weeks, let’s hope the Lions can maintain their momentum after the bye week leading up to this highly anticipated matchup.

Detroit Prime City

Lions safety Brian Branch catches an interception from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the second half of the Lions’ 21-20 win on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Lions garnered significant national attention last year, and rightfully so, after their impressive playoff run. This year, that spotlight continues to shine on them with a schedule featuring five primetime games.

They kick off the season against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, followed by a Monday Night Football showdown against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. In Week 10, they’ll face the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football, and in Week 14, they’ll take on the Packers on Thursday Night Football. Lastly, a Monday Night Football clash against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.

In addition to these primetime matchups, the Lions will host the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving and have four late-afternoon games scheduled. Furthermore, their Week 18 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings could potentially be flexed, adding to their national exposure. With their recent success on the national stage, the Lions are poised to continue that trend in 2024.  

Game Stretches

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks to defensive end John Cominsky during warmups before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.

The schedule release offers intriguing insights into the Lions’ home and away stretches, as well as their divisional play. Opening the season with two prime-time games followed by a bye, the Lions enjoy three of their first four games at home. However, immediately after the bye week, they face a challenging stretch, with five of their next seven games on the road. This transition will be crucial for the Lions as they prepare for the demanding road schedule.

Following this road stint, the Lions benefit from three consecutive home games, providing an opportunity to regroup and capitalize on home-field advantage. However, they then face another road stretch, with two of their final three games away from home.

A particularly challenging period lies in Weeks 12-14, where the Lions play three games in 12 days, including matchups against divisional opponents. This grueling grind late in the season will truly test the resilience and determination of the Lions, showcasing their true grit on the field.

Nice and Toasty

Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks with quarterback Jared Goff (16) in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Weather can indeed become a significant factor in NFL games, especially for teams like the Lions in their division known for inclement conditions. Fortunately, the Lions seem to have dodged a bullet this season, with only three outdoor games on their schedule. These include matchups against the Packers in November, the Bears in early December, and the 49ers in late December.

Interestingly, weather shouldn’t be a concern for the Lions when they face the Packers, and they’ll enjoy the comforts of primetime lights when they take on the 49ers in California. Realistically, the Lions may only encounter adverse weather conditions in one game this season when they face the Bears.

With weather not expected to be a major factor across most of their schedule, the Lions can approach each game with confidence, knowing they have an even playing field against any opponent. This balanced environment sets the stage for the Lions to compete effectively throughout the season.

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