Lions: 3 most anticipated games in 2016


Ranking the three biggest games on Detroit’s 2016 schedule

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

3. At Indianapolis Colts: Week one

Luck versus Stafford: Round 2. As I wrote last week,Luck and Stafford have had similar careers thus far. The Colts, in many ways, are in a similar position to Detroit entering the 2016 season. They had high expectations last year but played poorly and still gave Andrew Luck the most guaranteed money in NFL history. He will be eager to prove it was money well spent after his disappointing, injury-plagued 2015 season. A loss to Detroit in their home opener, however, would certainly increase the heat on Luck. On the other hand, Detroit knows head coach Jim Caldwell will quickly be on the hot seat if the team starts off slow, after last year’s 1-7 debacle. And lastly, Caldwell did get fired by current Colts’ management  after leading the team to a Super Bowl in his first season. That surely isn’t something he has forgotten, although he will never admit it.  it doesn’t get much better than week one in the NFL.

2. At Green Bay Packers: Week three

Rodgers pulled off the hail-mary of a lifetime against the Lions in Detroit last year. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Lions fans were forced to relive Aaron Rodgers’ hail-mary to beat them on the last play of regulation when the Packers won Play of the Year at last week’s ESPY awards. The painful loss killed the last of the Lions’ Playoff hopes, gave the world more reason to love Aaron Rodgers and laugh at the Lions on National TV. The Packers have been the class of this division for awhile, even if Minnesota stole the title last season. The Lions have actually split their last six games against Green Bay and this will be an early test of what kind of team they can be in the post-Calvin Johnson era.  If the Lions split their first two games or lose both, this could be a must-win for Coach Caldwell, even in week 3. After breaking a 20+ year losing streak in Wisconsin, can Detroit do the unthinkable and win two in a row? Probably not, but the game will be exciting as hell, nonetheless.

3. At Dallas Cowboys: Monday Night Football: Week 16

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) scores on a touchdown run as he is hit by Detroit Lions outside linebacker DeAndre Levy (54) during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

If you think Lions fans are mad about the hail-mary, don’t get them started about the pass-interference flag that was picked up in the 2014 Wild Card game in Dallas. Nobody could have guessed one play would generate conspiracy theories, presidential quotes, and never-ending arguments over whether the game was decided by that call or not. So as you can imagine, both fanbases are dying to see them face off in another high-stakes game, especially with the last three games between the two having been so exciting. It being a Monday Night Football game gives it some extra juice.  It could have big Playoff ramifications with the NFC East looking like the Cowboys’ to lose and Green Bay coming to Detroit the following week. The Lions only have one MNF game next season, so even if they don’t make the Playoffs, getting a chance to beat Dallas on national TV is always satisfying for Lions fans.