Being scheduled for two Thursday night games and a Monday night game within the first eight weeks of the season was a sure sign the Detroit Lions had the attention of NFL schedule makers after going 8-2 to finish the 2022 season. A 3-1 start has done nothing to squash the buzz around the team.
The league has implemented flex scheduling over the years, to make sure good games are in prominent time windows or prime time games. The Lions were originally slated to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m. ET in Week 6 on Sunday, Oct. 15. Now, with the Buccaneers also 3-1, the game has been moved to 4:25 p.m. ET.
Looking at the rest of the Week 6 schedule, it seems likely Lions-Buccaneers will be "America's Game of the Week" on FOX, supplanting the Philadelphia Eagles at the New York Jets (sans Aaron Rodgers now) in the same time slot. The Buccaneers will also be wearing their throwback creamsicle jerseys in that game. No game was move to take the place of Lions-Buccaneers in the 1 p.m. ET window, the game was simply moved into the later window.
Detroit Lions 2023 schedule: Week 6 might not be the first flex
if the Lions stay on their current track, and the teams they play also do, Week 7 (Oct. 22) at the Baltimore Ravens could he moved off a 1 p.m. ET start. Week 10 (Nov. 12) at the Los Angeles Chargers could be a candidate to be flexed into "Sunday Night Football".
In any case, after playing at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday every game until Week 18 last season, the Lions are now something of a "prime time team" fans want to see and networks want to have in prominent slots. After last Thursday night's win over the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Jared Goff welcomed that status.
"We like it,” Goff said. “Keep putting us in prime time if you want. We feel good.”