Rod Wood Makes Major Claim About Lions’ Potential 2023 Schedule

Rod Wood

Getty Rod Wood on the field before a 2019 Lions game.

The Detroit Lions were arguably the most overlooked NFL team during the majority of the 2022 season, but that might not be the case any longer.

After a furious 9-8 finish to the season following a dreadful 1-6 start, the Lions became a team that garnered some major national attention. That could boost them come the 2023 schedule with regard to primetime games.

Lions president Rod Wood spoke with the media on Tuesday, March 28 during the owners meetings. One of the topics he discussed was the team’s future with primetime games. 2023 could be a big season for that according to Wood.

President and CEO Rod Wood meets with the media on March 28Hear from President and CEO Rod Wood as he speaks to the media at the NFL Annual Meetings on March 28, 2023. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

“Certainly I think we’ll be on more than just Thanksgiving. I don’t know how many more,” Wood told the media. “There’s going to be more opportunity for primetime games too because there’s going to be three simulcast games on Monday Night Football with ABC and ESPN, so that’s two more. There’s going to be the Amazon game the day after Thanksgiving which obviously we wouldn’t play, but it creates another primetime game for another team. I think that there’s more inventory which should enhance our opportunity as well as just the outlook for the team. Talking to Howard Katz a little bit, I suspect that we’re going to get a number. I just don’t know if it’ll be the max or not.”

Wood speaking with Katz, who is the league’s Senior VP of Broadcasting & Media Operations, is notable. He’s just the kind of personality who would have a big insight into what figures to happen when the schedule is put together. That points to Detroit having a presence in terms of the big-time games of next year’s slate.

In terms of primetime games, Wood admitted he likes to see them at home due to logistics, but that’s small potatoes compared to the reasons the team could be selected to be under the bright lights.

“Well, certainly the exposure is great. I’d rather have as many at home as possible. The road prime time games are a challenge for travel, but if you earn the right to play on prime time, it’s because of good things not anything we should be worried about. If it’s scheduled, you plan it out and you adapt (to) it,” Wood told the media.

Last season, the Lions finished their slate by being flexed into Sunday Night Football. While there, they defeated Green Bay 20-16 setting up for what has been a major offseason and what could be a bright future.

Detroit hasn’t had to adapt to many scheduling odysseys in the past, but that is all but certain to be different in the years ahead with where many expect the team to be heading in the future.

Rod Wood Wouldn’t Mind Lions Playing Internationally

Early on this offseason, rumors have swirled that the Lions could be a pick to play overseas in 2023, specifically in Germany. Wood agreed that the timing could be right for that, and could be idea for the team in 2023 relative to how things could set up for the future.

“We’re eligible. I think if it helped us defer giving up a home game the following year that would be advantageous. So we’re due to go and I guess I’d rather go as a road team first and then years down the road, give up a home game, but I don’t know if that’s going to work or not,” Wood explained.

If the Lions were selected this year, early rumors hint to the Kansas City Chiefs being a potential opponent. If that were the case, the Lions would be the road team being they are slated to play the Chiefs on the road this season. That would fit Wood’s ideal criteria for playing internationally.

The Lions don’t have a long history with playing internationally, but it has happened before twice in a span of years, with Detroit tangling with Atlanta in London in 2014 and then facing off with Kansas City there once again in 2015.

In their first appearance internationally, the Lions and Falcons squared off at Wembley Stadium, with the Lions pulling out an exciting 22-21 victory in the last seconds courtesy of a Matt Prater field goal. It was one of the more exciting Lions finishes in recent memory:

Lions vs Falcons 2014 Week 8All rights go to ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC, the NFL & its broadcasters. I do not own the music and the footage used in this video. No copyright infringement intended. For entertainment purposes only.2019-06-24T17:51:53Z

Detroit played the Chiefs in London the very next year in 2015, losing 45-10 in blowout fashion. Since then, the Lions have not gone overseas, meaning it’s been nearly a decade since international travel played out for the team.

If the team does play overseas this year, it could be to their advantage to get it out of the way as the road team now.

Analyzing Potential Lions’ 2023 Primetime Games

This season, the Lions will play the NFC South as their divisional crossover. They will tangle with the AFC West as their conference crossover. As a result of Detroit’s second place finish in 2022-23, they will play second-place teams from the NFC West, NFC East and AFC North as well.

In terms of where the games will be played, the Lions will host their usual NFC North rivals Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota. They will also have contests against Atlanta, Carolina, Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle at Ford Field next year.

On the road, the Lions will play their same NFC North rivals while having trips to Kansas City, Los Angeles to battle the Chargers, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Dallas and Baltimore.

In terms of possible primetime games, there’s a wide array with which to choose from on this potential schedule. Detroit could see battles against Minnesota and Green Bay get the nod for those slots. Additionally, road games against Dallas, Baltimore and the Chargers could be appealing. So too could be Detroit’s battles with Seattle, Las Vegas and Denver at home.

The schedule release will not happen until the spring, so there will be no insight until then regarding whether the Lions will play in primetime until then. Listening to Wood, though, it seems a fair bet that the team will see some chances to play in front of a national audience.

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