There isn’t any magic to the way the NFL determines each team’s list of opponents. Home and away dates with division foes make up six of the sixteen games. Another eight games are determined by rotation that matches an entire division against one AFC division and one NFC division. The NFC North will be matched up against the AFC North and NFC East in 2013.
The last two games are filled in by intra-conference opponents that finish in the same place in their respective divisions. The Lions have been locked into a last place finish for a few weeks now and the Arizona Cardinals were officially added to the Lions’ 2013 list of opponents last week when they were guaranteed a last place finish in the NFC West. That left just the NFC South to get figured out.
With week 17 in the books, the Lions’ list of 2013 opponents is now set and it looks like this:
Home games: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Road games: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals