The 2021 NFL schedule is set to be released in the coming days, and like all teams, the Detroit Lions are simply waiting and seeing when and where their games will be played this coming season.
As the wait continues, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the games the Lions will be playing next season. Which matchups are the most intriguing for the team? There are multiple games that fit the bill and could be very interesting in terms of matchups and some other subplots.
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Here’s a look at the games that should be circled early by fans in terms of what they will bring to the table for the 2021 season.
Lions at Los Angeles Rams
Obviously, this game needs no introduction for Lions fans. It will be the return of Matthew Stafford to face his former team, Jared Goff to his former stadium and Brad Holmes resurfacing to tangle against another team he helped build. Safe to say this game is probably Detroit’s only shot at a primetime game or game of significance, but it will be interesting to see how all the subplots play out. Could the Lions and Goff get some revenge against Stafford, Les Snead and Sean McVay, or will they be a mere speed bump for a Rams team many sees as Super Bowl contenders? It may be the game to watch for Detroit this season in terms of interest and plenty of juicy plots and subplots.
Lions at Cleveland Browns
It’s rare to see a couple of rust belt rivals from separate conferences get together but always fun when they do given the proximity and rivalry between the cities in other sports and how their miserable football fortunes have mirrored each other through the years. Cleveland is on a better trajectory now thanks in-part to new Detroit executive John Dorsey. Seeing Dorsey’s old team go against his new one will be an intriguing case study for Lions fans perhaps looking for somewhat of a hint as to what the team wants to look like moving forward. Obviously, the Lions hope to be where Cleveland is trending now in a few more years.
Lions at Denver Broncos
The Broncos figure to not only be a changed team, but this is an interesting game thanks to the fact that it will be played in the NFL’s new Week 17 setup. Never before has a game been seen on this week, so it will be interesting to watch and see how things go. Otherwise, the Lions haven’t played well in Denver lately and will be looking to bust a skid there that dates back to a loss in 2019. It will be worth watching to see not only if the Lions can hold up, but how they will prepare for a new scheduling wrinkle.
Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Lions haven’t been able to crack the code against the Cardinals consistently as of late, but did beat them finally in 2020 after an ugly tie in 2019. These two bitter rivals of futility play nearly every season it seems, so this game could be a good barometer of where the Lions are at as a team rebuilding. Arizona has a solid roster, and the Lions need to find a way to compete in this game more than they have for stretches the last few seasons. After a pair of trips to the desert, the Lions finally get the Cardinals back at home, which could be huge for confidence.
Lions Against Green Bay Packers
There’s a ton of intrigue about the Packers right now, centered around whether or not Aaron Rodgers will stay and whether or not other teammates of his will soon be out the door after him such as Davante Adams. The Packers team that looks as if it will face the Lions now might very well be totally different come the season, so keep this in mind during the schedule release. Detroit rattled off plenty of wins head-to-head prior to the mess of 2019 and 2020, so they will be looking to get back to their winning ways against a big rival that could see plenty of changes in the next few months.