Sat, 21 May 2022

TWENTYMAN: Breaking down the Lions' 2022 schedule

Detroit Lions
13 May 2022, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

The NFL has released the 2022 regular season schedule, and the Detroit Lions will begin the year at home on Sept. 11 hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit will end the year on the road Week 17 against division rival Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

Detroit's schedule initially includes one nationally televised game - Week 12 vs. Buffalo on Thanksgiving.

The Lions enter the 2022 season with the fifth easiest schedule in the league based on last year's opponent win percentage (.467).

This year's schedule formula breaks down as follows:

6 home & away division games (Chicago, Minnesota & Green Bay)4 games vs. opponents outside division, same conference (NFC East)4 games vs. opponents outside division, opposite conference (AFC East )2 games vs. opponents in same conference based on prior year standings (Seattle & Carolina)1 game vs. opponent outside conference based on prior year standings (Jacksonville)

Here's a breakdown of the entire regular-season schedule:

Week 1, Sept. 11, vs. Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Lions kick off their season at home against the first of two straight NFC East opponents. It will be the third straight season the Lions open at home. The Eagles were 9-8 under first-year head coach Nick Sirianni last year and lost to the Bucs in the Wild Card round of the playoffs (31-15).

The Eagles were top 10 in the NFL in scoring defense last year, which means Detroit's offense, which is expected to be a strength, will get an early test at home.

Week 2, Sept. 18, vs. Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Detroit gets their second consecutive home game to begin the season and their second straight matchup with an NFC East opponent in the Commanders. Washington leads the all-time series 28-15, but the Lions did win the last matchup in Detroit in 2020 (30-27).

Week 3, Sept. 25, at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Lions second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown said this week the Lions' goal is to win the division, host a playoff game and see what happens from there, with the Super Bowl being the ultimate goal. Detroit gets their first crack at a division opponent with their first road trip of the season.

The Vikings have a new head coach in Kevin O'Connell, and it will be interesting to see how much different their schemes on offense and defense are with only two weeks of film for the Lions to prepare with.

Week 4, Oct. 2, vs. Seattle, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Lions end the first quarter of the season with their third home game in their first four as they host the Seahawks. This is a very different Seattle team making the trip east to face the Lions without quarterback Russell Wilson, who was traded to Denver this offseason.

This will be the 15th matchup all-time between the two clubs with Seattle holding a 9-5 advantage and winning the last five straight against Detroit, including a playoff matchup in Seattle in 2016.

Week 5, Oct. 9, at New England, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Detroit hits the road again for an interconference matchup with a Patriots team that finished 10-7 last year and second in the AFC East, despite the fact they started a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones and had a lot of personnel changes on defense. Jones should be even better in year two, and Gillette Stadium is always a tough place to play. This will be a tough early road test for head coach Dan Campbell and the Lions.

Week 6, BYE

Teams would typically like for the bye to fall right around the midseason point, but Week 6 isn't too bad. It will give the Lions an early opportunity to rest up and get any early lingering injuries healthy before a 12-week stretch of games to finish out the year.

Chark enjoying being back on the field, working with new teammatesLions announce 2022 scheduleOruwariye loves Detroit, would be interested in signing extension with Lions

Week 7, Oct. 23, at Dallas, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Detroit is rested up and refreshed for a road matchup in Dallas against the Cowboys. Dallas is the favorite to win the NFC East, and they have no shortage of star power on both sides of the football. The Cowboys had the third best scoring offense and No. 1 total defense in the NFL last season. The Lions have lost four straight to the Cowboys, and haven't won in Dallas since 2011.

Week 8, Oct. 30, vs. Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Dolphins head north for a pre-Halloween matchup with the Lions at Ford Field. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have the potential to be one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. What will Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn have planned for the Dolphins' speed on offense?

Week 9, Nov. 6, vs. Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Detroit gets their first look at the revamped Packers' offense without arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Davante Adams, who was traded to Las Vegas in the offseason. Green Bay still has reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and as long as he's under center, the NFC North title goes through Green Bay. The Lions will try to make it two straight over the Packers at Ford Field after upsetting them Week 17 in Detroit last season.

Week 10, Nov. 13, at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Back-to-back NFC North contests in Weeks 9 & 10 will start to tell us a lot about how the race in the division is going for Detroit with nine games in the books and eight remaining. Like Minnesota, Chicago has a new regime with head coach Matt Eberflus. But unlike Detroit's Week 3 matchup in Minnesota, Detroit will have plenty of film on the Bears eight games into the season. Did the Bears do enough in the offseason to help second-year quarterback Justin Fields be the best he can be?

Week 11, Nov. 20, at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The first of two trips to New York to face the Giants and Jets this year. New Giants head coach Brian Daboll (formerly the Bills' OC) will have his fingerprints all over the Giants' offense as he tries to get the most out of quarterback Daniel Jones and an offense that ranked 31st in the NFL in 2021. The Lions and Giants have always played each other pretty tough over the years with the Lions holding a slim 23-21-1 advantage in the all-time series.

Week 12, Nov. 24, vs. Buffalo, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

The Lions' Thanksgiving tradition began Nov. 29, 1934 when Detroit played host to Chicago. 82 games later and the tradition of Thanksgiving football in Detroit lives on with a matchup against Buffalo. It's Super Bowl or bust for the Bills after a heartbreaking end to their playoff run in overtime last year. Buffalo scored the second most points in the NFL last year and allowed the fewest on defense. That's a pretty lethal combination. This will be just the third matchup between these two clubs on Thanksgiving. The Lions won both of the first two games in 1976 and 1994.

Week 13, Dec. 4, vs. Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (FOX)

An early December matchup in Detroit for two former No. 1 overall pick quarterbacks in Detroit's Jared Goff and Jacksonville's Trevor Lawrence. This will also be a matchup between the top two picks in this year's NFL Draft between the Jags' Travon Walker and Detroit's Aidan Hutchinson.

Week 14, Dec. 11, vs. Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Lions get a late-season home game against a division rival before finishing the year with three of their last four on the road. The Lions won their first game of the season against the Vikings at Ford Field in dramatic walk-off fashion a year ago. Can they find a way to ink another one in the win column before hitting the road for consecutive games Weeks 15 and 16?

Week 15, Dec. 18, at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (FOX)

This could be a great rookie rematch between Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams and talented Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner. The two squared off in the national semifinal last year with Gardner getting the better of the individual matchup with Williams, but Williams and Alabama won the game and the eventual national championship. Who gets the edge in their first pro matchup?

Week 16, Dec. 24, at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Another rookie matchup could highlight this one as Hutchinson squares off against Panthers rookie offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu (No. 6 pick). Hutchinson set Michigan single-season sack record with 14.0 in 2021. Ekwonu had a 91.6 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021, which was third highest among power five conference tackles.

Week 17, Jan. 1, vs. Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Lions end their regular-season home slate with a division matchup against the Bears. The goal every year is to be playing meaningful games in December and January that impact the division and playoff races. Here's hoping we're talking about this Week 17 matchup vs. Chicago being a huge game for the Lions late in the season.

Week 18, Jan. 7/8, at Green Bay, TBD, (TBD)

Since 1990 (32 straight seasons), at least 4 teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. At least one team has gone worst-to-first winning its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 17 of the last 19 seasons. The Lions are hoping they are in the conversation for one or both of these scenarios as they brave the frozen tundra in Green Bay.

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