Key Dates this season
Sunday, September 20: at Green Bay
Without a doubt, the second week of this season will feature one of the strangest Lions/Packers games any of us have witnessed, which is saying something. We’ve seen quite a bit in this matchup over the last decade.
Stranger than a string of phantom ‘hands to the shoulder pad’ penalties to flip the momentum upside down, as seen year ago. Of course, in 2018 we saw the Ford Field goalposts win a game ball, and the punter throw a touchdown pass. Even more out of the ordinary was Calvin Johnson getting butterfingers, Mason Crosby getting butterfeet, and then untimed downs and Hail Marys in the 2015 series. Don’t even get me started on Matt Flynn throwing six touchdown passes in the snow on New Year’s 2012.
But old time division rivals facing off at the NFL’s most hallowed ground, and the place sitting completely empty … this one should be surreal even by Lions/Packers standards.
Sunday, November 1: vs Indianapolis
If all goes according to the current reopening plan, this would be the first Lions home game that fans can attend. Don’t expect full capacity yet, but whether at 25% or 50% or whatever the limit ends up being, Week 6 in many ways could feel like the real season opener.
As a bonus, the last two games between these teams have both been instant classics. One was a heartbreaking touchdown given up to rookie Andrew Luck on the final play in 2012, the other was a Matthew Stafford special in the final 37 seconds that ended with a Matt Prater field goal to win it.
Sunday, December 27: vs Tampa Bay
Christmas weekend at Ford Field, and we’ve got Tom Brady, Gronk, and Ndamukong Suh coming to town?? Maybe this Week 16 showdown has playoff implications or maybe it’s just a gravy coated piece of cheer ahead of a very dark offseason, but if there’s a single ‘must see’ Lions game in 2020, this is it.
Monday, January 4
Speaking of that dark offseason, here marks the NFL’s infamous ‘Black Monday’, the annual first stop on the coaching carousel, where they hand out pink slips rather than collect tickets to take a ride on it. A season similar to the last two would almost certainly make Matt Patricia a prime candidate to be shown the door on this day.
Patricia supposedly has a “mandate to win” from the Fords, though the purposely vague phrasing still leaves it entirely unknown just how winning would need to happen for the Patriots Midwest experiment to continue.
Sunday, February 7
Super Bowl LV, in Tampa, Florida. You know, just in case we don’t need to worry about January 4, and that 100 to 1 thing ends up working out in the Detroit Lions’ favor.