The Athletic has live coverage of the latest news on the 2024 NFL schedule release.

For the first time in a long time, the Detroit Lions find themselves with as good a chance as anyone to win the Super Bowl.

Feels weird, right? It shouldn’t. The Lions have one of the strongest rosters in the league on paper, after addressing a number of needs this offseason in an attempt to get over the hump. Their young players are another year old, with a chance to be even better as they enter their second, third and fourth seasons in Detroit. Veterans who tasted playoff success for the first time in their careers will be motivated for seconds, after coming so close to a Super Bowl appearance.

The Lions are well-positioned for another deep postseason run. But they want more.

“That’s our goal, to hoist that trophy at the end of the day,” Lions right tackle Penei Sewell told reporters earlier this month when asked what’s next for the team. “Just to win, bro. It’s nothing else to it. All those individual accolades don’t mean nothing. I want the big one, and I want it now.”

Now that the NFL schedule is here, released Wednesday night, we know when the Lions will begin their season, who they’ll face along the way and what they must to do get back to the postseason, for a chance at the Lombardi Trophy.

Lions 2024 schedule



Sept. 8

8:20 p.m.


Sept. 15

1 p.m.


Sept. 22

4:25 p.m.


Sept. 30

8:15 p.m.




Oct. 13

4:25 p.m.


Oct. 20

1 p.m.


Oct. 27

1 p.m.


Nov. 3

4:25 p.m.


Nov. 10

8:20 p.m.


Nov. 17

1 p.m.


Nov. 24

1 p.m.


Nov. 28

12:30 p.m.


Dec. 5

8:15 p.m.


Dec. 15

4:25 p.m.


Dec. 22

1 p.m.


Dec. 30

8:20 p.m.




Week 1 keys to victory

We all know what happened the last time the Rams and Lions met. Matthew Stafford was booed, Jared Goff chants rang loud and the Lions ended their 32-year winless streak in the postseason. But it certainly wasn’t easy. Stafford (367 passing yards and two touchdowns) and Puka Nacua (nine receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown) carved up one of the league’s worst secondaries. L.A.’s defense held Detroit’s run game to just 79 yards on 25 rushes — the Lions’ third-lowest rushing total last season. A win is a win, but the Rams gave the Lions all they could handle, and remain competitive.

Even without Aaron Donald, the Rams still figure to be an improved team in 2024. Detroit’s new-look secondary will need to show up against Nacua and Cooper Kupp, while continuing to slow down the Rams’ rushing offense (just 68 yards on 17 attempts in January). If Goff (22-of-27 in January’s matchup) remains efficient and the ground game gets back on track, the Lions can get off to a 1-0 start.

Must-watch game: at 49ers, Week 17

Some compelling options on the schedule, but let’s be honest: It’s the 49ers. The NFC’s two best teams last season will go at it again on “Monday Night Football.” If both teams are as good as we think they’ll be, this game could have seeding implications in the NFC, with a first-round bye potentially on the line. It has the potential to be one of the best regular-season matchups of the year.

Find the best deals on tickets to see your favorite teams.

Toughest stretch: Weeks 14-17

After Thanksgiving, the Lions host Jordan Love and the Packers, Josh Allen and the Bills, travel to Chicago to play the Bears and hit the road for the much-anticipated 49ers rematch. Green Bay figures to be competitive again, so that game will have NFC North implications. The Bills are retooling a bit, but Josh Allen is still an elite quarterback. Caleb Williams and the Bears could have things figured out by Week 16, and the 49ers aren’t easy to beat at Levi’s Stadium. This stretch could determine the NFC North race and playoff seeding.

Game that has gotten tougher: at Bears, Week 16 

The Bears gave the Lions all they could handle in two games last year. In the first meeting, Detroit needed a 12-point rally in the final minutes to pull off a comeback win. In the second, Chicago won by 15 in a game that wasn’t close. That was with Justin Fields, and while his scrambling ability was a problem for Detroit’s defense, he wasn’t scary from the pocket. Now the Bears add Williams, Keenan Allen, Rome Odunze and others into the mix, and this team could be dangerous by December.

Scoop City Newsletter

Free, daily NFL updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

Free, daily NFL updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

BuyBuy Scoop City Newsletter

One game the Lions can’t afford to lose: at Cardinals, Week 3

With the Lions playing a first-place schedule in 2024, they can’t afford to lose to teams like the Cardinals, fresh off a 4-13 season. Granted, Arizona didn’t have a healthy Kyler Murray for much of last year and should be better, but this team is far from a finished product and still submerged in a rebuild. Losing to the Cardinals early in the year would be an uncharacteristic slip-up for this Lions team.

Best offense the Lions will face: 49ers

Christian McCaffrey. Brandon Aiyuk. Deebo Samuel. Ricky Pearsall. George Kittle. Brock Purdy. Kyle Shanahan. Need I say more? This is arguably the best collection of playmakers in the NFL, coached by arguably the NFL’s best offensive mind. The majority of this group helped the 49ers defeat the Lions in the NFC Championship Game, dropping 34 points on Detroit’s defense. The Lions are hoping their defensive additions make for a lower-scoring game, but that’s easier said than done.

The Texans are expected to make some noise in 2024 after going 10-7 in DeMeco Ryans’ first season as head coach. (Thomas Shea / USA Today)

Best defense the Lions will face: Texans, Week 10

There are other top contenders here, like the 49ers and Cowboys, but I’m gonna go out on a bit of a limb and choose the Texans. I’m buying all the stock in head coach DeMeco Ryans, who quickly turned one of the league’s worst defenses into a top-15 unit. This offseason, Houston added former Vikings pass-rusher Danielle Hunter (16 1/2 sacks in 2023), a very good linebacker in Azeez Al-Shaair who played for Ryans in San Francisco and Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter in the second round. Budding stars like Derek Stingley Jr. and Will Anderson Jr. could make the leap to stardom, and the familiarity from another year in Ryans’ system should help others.

Predicted record: 12-5

The Lions face a first-place schedule in 2024 and their division is tougher on paper, which could make improving their win total from last season difficult. But this team will be better, too. It might not reflect in the record, but it will on the field. Detroit added major pieces in the secondary, at guard and along its defensive line to solidify its roster. If the core stays healthy, this team can pick right back where it left off.

Predicted NFC North finish: First

1. Lions
2. Packers
3. Bears
4. Vikings

The 2024 NFC North race could come down to the Lions and Packers. Both teams look ready to contend after winning in the playoffs last season. Additionally, the Bears, coming off a seven-win season and a strong offseason, won’t be far behind if Williams can find success as a rookie. That said, I have the Lions repeating as division champs.

(Top photo of Jared Goff: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)