In an effort to make sure good games are in prime viewing spots, the NFL goes to flex scheduling as the season goes on. On Thursday, the NFL announced the schedule for the Week 15 Saturday tripleheader and the Detroit Lions will welcome the Denver Broncos to Ford Field for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff.
The game will be broadcast on NFL Network, and simulcast locally on Fox 2 in Detroit.
The game was originally in a "to be determined" status on the Week 15 schedule. The Lions are 8-3 and leading the NFL North, while the Broncos have won five games in a row to move to 6-5 and into playoff contention. So the matchup makes perfect sense for the Saturday night primetime spot.
Five games were originally listed as options to be flexed to Saturday in Week 15. The Minnesota Vikings at the Cincinnati Bengals (1 p.m. ET) and the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts (4:30 p.m. ET) will precede Broncos-Lions on Dec. 16.
The NFL also did its first Monday night schedule flex for Week 15. The originally scheduled Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots contest has been replaced by the Seattle Seahawks at the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 18.
Detroit Lions get another primetime showcase
This will be the fourth primetime game for the Lions this season, with a fifth coming against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 in what will be another Saturday night kickoff on Dec. 30. They had zero primetime games scheduled last year, and did not play one until Week 18.
An added layer to Lions-Broncos is the relationship between the two head coaches. Dan Campbell was of course on Sean Payton's staff in New Orleans. The two go back to Campbell's playing days, as Payton was an assistant coach for the Giants and the Cowboys when Campbell played for those teams. Campbell has been clear about how Payton is a mentor to him, and the praise goes both ways.