Lions See Schedule Change for December Battle With Buccaneers

Chris Godwin

Getty Chris Godwin runs away from a Tracy Walker tackle in 2019.

The Detroit Lions have seen a late season change in terms of scheduling, and Monday, they learned when their 2020 contest with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will happen.

The NFL has now settled on the Lions and Buccaneers playing on Saturday, December 26 at 1 p.m. EST. Around Christmas and in late December, the league takes over the Saturday broadcast window and can choose to flex matchups they like the day before their usual NFL week plays out on Sunday, and that will be the case once again with this matchup playing out in late December.

The last time the Lions played on a Saturday was in 2017 when they beat the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in the debut of their grey alternate jerseys. This time around, they will be at Ford Field again but the excitement will be far more tepid for the matchup. There will likely be no postseason chance on the line, and perhaps the only excitement will be seeing Tom Brady in what could be his final trip to the state of Michigan.

This game will be played a day after Christmas as well, so it will be a nice post holiday affair for football fans to take in.


Lions vs. Buccaneers History

The Lions and Buccaneers used to be rivals from the old NFC Central division, but when everything was re-aligned, they only play Tampa Bay once in a while now considering their status as an NFC South team. Historically, the series has been pretty even through the years. Perhaps surprisingly, the Lions lead the all-time series 31-28. Tampa has won two out of the last five games, including last year’s 38-17 drubbing late in the season in a game that didn’t matter much to either side. In terms of this season, it’s likely the Lions could be the ones playing spoiler if they were to win considering how the Buccaneers have been in the playoff picture most of the season to this point in time.


Buccaneers Dominated Lions During 2019

As mentioned above, the teams met late last year before Tom Brady joined the Buccaneers and the result was an ugly 38-17 loss. Detroit didn’t have plenty of big name players for that game given how rankled the team was by injury, but it was one of the uglier efforts in the now defunct Matt Patricia era for the team. Former Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns on the afternoon. Tampa also had a pair of wideouts go for over 100 yards receiving against Detroit, with both Chris Godwin (121 yards) and Breshad Perriman (113 yards, 3 touchdowns) roasting the Lions. Perriman isn’t around to do damage this time around after signing with the New York Jets, but the Buccaneers do have Brady to sling the ball to a talented cast of wideouts like Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown along with tight ends Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski.

With this in mind ahead of the matchup in 2020, it certainly could turn into another blue football Christmas around Detroit in 2020.


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