Week 4: at Green Bay Packers (Thursday Night Football, Sept. 28)
Playing on Thursday night for the second time in four games, the Lions are the first team subjected to the new “can play twice on Thursday Night Football” thing.
The Packers are entering the Jordan Love Era, with a lot of unknown due to his sitting behind Aaron Rodgers. Over the last couple seasons, the Lions were competitive against the Packers with Rodgers under center and they swept Green Bay last year.
The Lions can set a tone for the rest of the season, and send a message to the rest of the NFC North, by beating the Packers on the Thursday night stage at Lambeau Field.
Prediction: Lions 24, Packers 13 (2-2)
Week 5: vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday, Oct. 8)
The Lions were undressed by the Panthers ground game last Christmas Eve, especially early in the game, and it wound up being a critical loss for them in terms of making the playoffs.
The Panthers have changed head coaches (Frank Reich) and quarterbacks (Bryce Young) this year. What that will mean for their record is to be determined, but more broadly they are a solid team top-to-bottom.
I said solid, not necessarily really good. The Lions take this one at home over a Panthers team that is incredibly beatable, to extend their win streak to three.
Prediction: Lions 24, Panthers 17 (3-2)