2020 Detroit Lions Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

Detroit Lion head coach Matt Patricia instructs players as the North squad runs drills during practice for the Senior Bowl Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Perhaps the third time's the charm for Matt Patricia.

The Detroit Lions head coach is a mere 9-22-1 in two seasons at the helm and finished in last place in the NFC North both times. It is a far cry from the success he enjoyed as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

A healthy Matthew Stafford should help, after the quarterback played just eight games in 2019, but this team needs to make significant strides to compete for a division crown.

Here is a look at the schedule the Lions will have to navigate if they are going to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.


Lions 2020 Schedule 

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Stafford is always under the spotlight in Detroit, but a defense that was 26th in the league in points allowed per game and last in passing yards allowed per game last season must make improvements against this schedule.

That will be all the more difficult after the Lions traded away three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, although they picked his likely replacement with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft in Ohio State's Jeff Okudah.

Detroit faces the NFC South this season, which means matchups against game-changing wide receivers such as Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. It also means showdowns with legendary quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees, as well as Matt Ryan and Teddy Bridgewater.

Each of those games will put immense pressure on the secondary, although the AFC South may be somewhat more forgiving.

The Houston Texans' 10-6 mark last year was the worst record for a division winner in the AFC by at least two games, and they traded away DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. The Indianapolis Colts added Philip Rivers but still finished the 2019 campaign with a losing record, as did the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Tennessee Titans made the AFC Championship Game, but they were inconsistent throughout the year at 9-7.

Detroit will have a chance to make up some ground in these inter-conference games, but the season will likely come down to its own division matchups.


Pivotal Matchups

Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

It doesn't get much more difficult inside a division than it is for the Lions.

While the rest of the teams often see them as the easier matchup in the NFC North, they have to face a Green Bay Packers squad that went 13-3 last year, Minnesota Vikings team that also made the playoffs at 10-6 and Chicago Bears group that still has many of the key defensive pieces in place from their 12-4 effort in 2018.

It appeared as if Detroit was going to challenge those foes last year when it started 2-1-1 and had a two-score lead in a game against Green Bay, but a late collapse and questionable officiating led to a heartbreaking loss.

That showing kicked off an abysmal 0-6 effort in divisional games for the 2019 Lions, which ended any chance they had at competing for the playoffs

This season's divisional games go beyond the race for first place and revenge for last year's poor effort, as the NFC North could very well send multiple teams to the playoffs for the second straight campaign.