Predicting every Detroit Lions primetime game during the 2024 season

Here's a prediction for the prime time opponents the Detroit Lions will have during the 2024 season.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL schedule makers bought into the hype around the Detroit Lions in 2023, scheduling them for four prime time games. With the flex of Week 15 against the Denver Broncos into a Saturday night slot, they wound up playing in five prime time games last season. And that leaves aside their yearly standalone Thanksgiving Day game.

With the 2024 regular season schedule set to come out in full on Wednesday, May 15, the Lions are lined up for a healthy slate of prime time games again this year. They have advanced themselves as a legit Super Bowl contender, and there are plenty of good possibilities there based on their slate of opponents.

So let's take a shot a predicting who the Lions will play prime time games against, and when they might be. They can be scheduled for a maximum of six prime time games, not counting Thanksgiving. So we'll point to six potential prime time opponents for the 2024 season.

Predicting Detroit Lions' prime time games for the 2024 season

Green Bay Packers

The Lions played the Packers on a Thursday night and on Thanksgiving last season. With Green Bay a team perceived to be on the rise, and the best threat to dethrone the Lions in the NFC North if you ask the right people, it stands to reason at least one matchup will get a prime time stage again this season. A Monday night or a Thursday night makes a lot of sense here.

Chicago Bears

There's a lot of hype around the Bears, with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft (Caleb Williams) and a team that looks well-constructed and set to make a jump this season. A Thanksgiving Day matchup is certainly possible, but an actual prime time matchup is on the table too. On his mock Lions' schedule, Matt Broder of Woodward Sports has Week 1 Sunday Night Football at Soldier Field.

San Francisco 49ers

A prime time rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game is too obvious for the schedule makers to ignore. It would be a road game for the Lions, like the NFC title game, which only further bolsters the inevitability of a prime time rematch. A Sunday night or Monday night matchup, or maybe a late-season Saturday night initially scheduled, makes the most sense.

Houston Texans

The Lions can look at the Texans and see themselves a year ago at this time- a team with a lot of hype they have to back up on the field. A Thanksgiving matchup in 2020 feels a lifetime ago for both franchises, as the Lions' blowout loss led to Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn being fired the next day. Deshaun Watson was Houston's quarterback that day. Let's hope we see a Monday night or Sunday night matchup here.

Los Angeles Rams

Matt Stafford's return to Detroit in the Wild Card Round last year was an automatic extra layer to that game, along with Jared Goff facing the team and coach that deemed he wasn't good enough to win a Super Bowl with.

The steam for those narratives is naturally diminished now, and the stakes will be lower in the regular season (at least theoretically). But there's still a "prime" opportunity the schedule makers can (and surely will) capitalize on with a regular season rematch in Detroit coming. Maybe this would be a Thursday night game, as Broder projected in his mock schedule, but a Monday or Sunday night would look pretty good too.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys drive viewership like no other NFL team does. The Lions' trip to Arlington late last season on the night before New Year's Eve was memorable for its controversial ending, when Taylor Decker was ruled to not have reported as eligible before he caught what would have been the game-winning two-point conversion.

A controversial ending to last year's matchup. A rematch scheduled for the same site. Two teams who should be good. Two teams that drive eye balls. Do we really think the NFL won't put this game in prime time? A Sunday night, a Monday night, a Thursday night (post Thanksgiving?), or even a scheduled Saturday night in late-December again, are all options here.

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