The Detroit Lions have just learned their 2020 NFL schedule, and already they have a line for the first game of the season.
Detroit will play their long time arch rival Chicago Bears at Ford Field to kick off the season, and they will open up the year as favorites in Week 1, albeit narrowly. The Lions are 1 point favorites against the Bears according to BetOnline.ag.
Chicago swept the Lions last season, winning on Thanksgiving Day and also earlier in the season. Notably, the matchups came when Detroit was missing Matthew Stafford to injury, which provided the Bears a major advantage in each game.
This year, theoretically, the Lions shouldn’t have to worry about that heading into the first game of the year which might help them look like favorites.
Lions 2020 Schedule Difficulty Ranked
Most know the inherent difficulty the team will face within their own division, but how about from the schedule as a whole? Recently, CBS Sports looked at breaking down every team’s schedule from the hardest in the league to the easiest. Theoretically, the Lions should be sitting in a favorable spot as it relates to next season given the teams they will play.
The site and writer Jared Dubin used over-under totals from opponents to rank the 2020 schedule. What he found when it came to Detroit was a team that will have one of the easier schedules in the league this coming season. The Lions have one of the lower opponent strength of schedules in the league, which leads them to have a fairly easy schedule.
As a whole, the schedule is the 7th easiest in football for 2020. That, combined with the upgrades the Lions have made and a hopeful return to health might put even more pressure on Matt Patricia and company to have a successful season and win bigger than they have.
Naturally, even the worst of teams from 2019 have improved, so while the schedule might seem a bit lighter now, that’s not always how it works out when the games begin.
Lions Won’t Travel Internationally For 2020
Another schedule advantage for Detroit in 2020 figures to be travel. While the Lions and the rest of the league wait for the schedule release, one trip they will not make is to London. The Lions were likely to head there to play a team, most likely the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that trip won’t be happening now according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The league did indeed put a moratorium on international travel for the 2020 season.
Detroit will soon learn their schedule, and it now appears as if there won’t be an international game this year for the fans to look forward to. At the very least, that won’t mean a massive disruption to the team’s travel plans or jet lag from a long trip overseas.
Lions Top Opponents During 2020 Season
The Lions will play a schedule that many folks might say is on the easier end, but the team has to understand that there are many challenges to come this season. Perhaps the biggest might be from the Buccaneers, a team that has become a chic Super Bowl pick after a huge offseason of additions. Battles against AFC foes that made the playoffs last year like the Titans, Texans and improved Colts figure to challenge the team as well. As usual, it will be important for fans to watch the NFC North battles given the intensity of those battles. Matchups against the Saints and Cardinals will be very interesting to note as well.
The full schedule reveal is now in, and the only thing for Lions fans to do is to begin to ponder the matchups and decide which games they are most excited for in 2020.
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