2023 Lions schedule features 5 nationally televised games

Season starts at Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champs

Amazing what winning will do to give an NFL team a schedule with five nationally televised games.

After winning eight of their last 10 games last season and barely missing the playoffs, the NFL has taken notice of the Detroit Lions. After one nationally televised game in 2022 (on Thanksgiving), the Lions will have at least five in 2023 starting with the opener at the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7.

While the NFL had several other solid potential matchups for the Chiefs’ opener, they chose the Lions.

“We really like that narrative around that team, the culture they’re building there, the way they finished that season 8 wins out of their last 9 or 10 games. The last time we saw them on national television was the last game, Game 272 of the regular season, and they were beating the Packers in Lambeau to keep Aaron Rodgers  out of the playoffs,’’ NFL vice president of broadcast Onnie Bose told the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday. 

“We really like that there’s a lot of energy there and we feel really good about starting the season with that energy against the Super Bowl champs,’’ Bose added.

The last time the Lions played at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium was on Dec. 14, 2003. The Chiefs won 45-17.

The Lions will play in one Monday night game at home to the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 30. They’ll travel to Dallas for a Saturday night game on Dec. 30.

Detroit will head to Green Bay for a Thursday night game on Sept. 28. And then they will welcome the Packers to Ford Field for Thanksgiving. The Lions were 2-0 against the Packers last season including the season-ending win that kept the Packers out of the playoffs.

The Lions enter the season as favorites in the NFC North after a 5-1 mark in the division in 2022.

Times and dates for two home games against Denver in Week 15 and the Vikings in Week 18 have not been determined.

Detroit Lions 2023 schedule:

— Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 7 at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

—  Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 28 at Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m. (Amazon Prime)

— Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22 at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 8: Monday, Oct. 30 vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

— Week 9: BYE WEEK

— Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12 at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

— Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19 vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23 vs. Green Bay Packers, 12:30 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 15: TBD, vs. Denver Broncos, TBD (TBD)

— Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. (FOX)

— Week 17: Saturday, Dec. 30 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

— Week 18: TBD, vs. Minnesota Vikings, TBD (TBD)


Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis’ 5 thoughts on defensive play in first 4 games

Improvement is all about the details

ALLEN PARK — At the quarter pole mark of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions have extra time to reflect. It’s their bye week. Their next game is Monday, Oct. 14, at Green Bay.

Coming off a tough 34-30 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Lions are 2-1-1. The loss showed they can hang with one of the elite NFL teams.

Five thoughts from Lions’ middle linebacker Jarrad Davis on Monday:

1. Davis says they understand a few things about themselves after four games. “We’re definitely a team that’s going to fight no matter what. It doesn’t matter what people say about us, what people feel about us, we’re definitely going to fight no matter what the circumstance is,’’ Davis said. “We know what we have, in a sense we’re kind of like a newly seeded plant, we’re starting to blossom a little bit but we’ve got to keep watering, got to keep giving ourselves that light, we’ve got to keep making sure we pay attention to the things that are going to make us grow and get better and ultimately come out and perform to the best of our ability and do exactly what we know we can do on Sundays.’’

2. Details, he repeatedly said details are key to improving in the final 12 games. “Just improve on the details of the game, how we’re calling plays, how we’re getting lined up, what we’re communicating pre-snap and everything like that, also post-snap just making sure we’re always talking out there and we’re always aware of what’s going on around us,’’ Davis said.

3. On Sunday, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes gained 15 yards running up the middle on a fourth-and-8 play late in the game. It was a key moment in the loss. “It’s definitely tough, it’s like the old saying just one play doesn’t define the game. We had multiple opportunities after that play to get them off the field and we still let those guys get down there to the 1-yard line, it comes down to making sure we take care of the details,’’ Davis said.

4. Davis also discussed what they could do to improve on a play like that. “We’ve just got to make sure we keep the quarterback in the pocket and also as a defense, got to make sure that we get back, get our heads back, the crowd kind of tells you what’s going on with their energy but we’ve got to be aware of what’s going around us, and make sure we can get back and make a tackle before he gets a first down. It’s a collective effort across the board making sure we’re always aware of what’s going on and what the situation is,’’ Davis said. The Lions’ defense is ranked 27th in the NFL, allowing 405.5 yards per game.

5. The players will get a few days off to rest before getting to work next week, preparing to play the Packers at Lambeau Field. “The opponent we’re playing the following week after this bye week, they’re playing this week and we’re not so we have to find a way to get the edge while also taking care of our bodies and getting our time off when we can,’’ Davis said. The Packers (3-1) play at the Cowboys (3-1) on Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

Five things to know about Detroit Lions’ 34-30 loss to Kansas City Chiefs

DETROIT — Any talk during the week  of the Lions-Chiefs matchup being a statement game, did not come from the Lions players or coaches.

So it fits that while it appeared the Lions proved they could play with one of the NFL’s elite teams in the 34-30 loss to Kansas City on Sunday, the Lions (2-1-1) didn’t like that storyline.

“I don’t think we need to prove anything to anybody – we love the way we practice, the way we work, the way we come out and play. We’re a good football team, lost to a good football team today,’’ Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “There were a bunch of great plays made in this game, a couple bad plays be each team made in this game, that’s the way it goes in the NFL. It came down to the last 15 seconds, they were undefeated coming into this game, so were we. Somebody was going to have to lose, obviously want to win them all at home, was a good opportunity to beat a good team and we were darned close.’’

Coach Matt Patricia was happy with the fight he saw in his team. “This team doesn’t blink, it just keeps going forward,’’ Patricia said.

Five things to know about the Lions’ loss:

1. The Lions scored touchdowns on two of their five trips to the red zone, but on three others they managed just three points. In the first quarter on fourth-and-7 from the 7-yard line they settled for a Matt Prater field goal. Then in the third quarter Stafford fumbled while trying to make a run on third-and-5 from the 5. The Chiefs recovered. Then Kerryon Johnson fumbled on a first-and-goal from the 1, the ball was scooped up by the Chiefs’ Bashaud Breeland and run back 99 yards for a touchdown (see below). On his fumble, Stafford looked like he was going to make a throw. “I thought Marvin Hall had a chance in the back of the end zone at least a chance to throw it away but I really probably should of eaten it for a sack on third and goal,’’ Stafford said. “Chances of making that play not so good, chances of Prater making a chip shot probably really good. Obviously disappointed I put the ball on the ground.’’

2. Kerryon Johnson took full responsibility for that fumble that led to the Chiefs’ touchdown. “My perspective is, they called it a fumble. We lost three or seven points, which turned into seven points for them, we lost by three points, so obviously it hurt. Big play in the game, we had a lot of momentum going for us, kind of killed it,’’ Johnson said. “I take full responsibility for it.” In a pool report. NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron said: “The officials ruled on the field that they did not see the ball carrier down. They did not see a body part other than the hand or foot down.’’ That’s why they didn’t blow the whistle.

3. To have a chance to beat the Chiefs, Detroit’s run game had to improve and it did. Kerryon Johnson had 26 carries for 125 yards and the Lions finished with 186 rushing yards. “I think for us the run game, we were close last week maybe a couple blocks or details away, we’ll see what the tape looks like, it appears that that was cleaned up … I think the group in general, they want to get better, they’re trying to improve, that’s all you can ask for as a coach, we have to coach them better and keep working with them,’’ Patricia said. In the first three games this season, Johnson finished with 49, 41 and 36 yards.

4. The defense played well to hold quarterback Patrick Mahomes to just 315 passing yards his lowest total this season. Also, he had no passing touchdowns — he’s had at least three in each of the first three games this season.. However, the Lions’ defense would like at least one play back. With 1:55 left and the Lions leading 30-27, the Chiefs had a fourth-and-8 at their own 34. The Lions stop them and it’s likely they could hold on for a win. Instead Mahomes sees a big gap straight down the middle and runs 15 yards to get the first down. Eight plays later, Chiefs running back Damien Williams runs up the gut for the game-winning touchdown. Patricia took the blame on that one, saying he needs to coach better. To their credit their pressure on the previous play (third-and-8) forced an incomplete pass to Demarcus Robinson.

5. It’s not unusual for a Lions team (we’re talking in recent years) to deflate after a big play. That did not happen after that Chiefs touchdown that was returned after the Kerryon Johnson fumble. Stafford tried to help his teammates stay tough. “My point was we score a touchdown there, the game wasn’t going to end,’’ Stafford said. “We didn’t win the game if we scored a touchdown there. They don’t win the game because they scored a touchdown, there was a lot of football left. I think there were 9 or 10 minutes left in the third quarter. There was a lot of football left to play.’’

BONUS on INJURIES: Stafford was questionable going into the game with a hip injury. He didn’t want to talk about it afterward but said it wasn’t the same injury as last season. … Safety Quandre Diggs injured a hamstring trying to run down a Mahomes pass late in the first quarter and didn’t return. Patricia did not have an update after the game. … Tight end T.J. Hockenson had to be carted off the field after he landed on his shoulder and head leaping to avoid a tackle. Patricia said he was in good spirits afterward and did not go to the hospital.

UP NEXT: The Lions have a bye weekend, then will play at Green Bay (3-1) on Monday night, Oct. 14.