Lions schedule 2018: Detroit must take advantage of favorable road slate

The Detroit Lions' 2018 schedule is manageable under new coach Matt Patricia. SN takes a closer look at the Lions' slate.

The Lions' 2018 schedule features a tour of the AFC East and NFC South in Matt Patricia's first season as head coach in Detroit.

The Lions have enjoyed winning seasons in three of the last four years, and the franchise hasn't finished last in the NFC North since 2012. This season is another chance for Matthew Stafford to lead the franchise into the postseason.

Below is a breakdown of the Lions' schedule in 2018.

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Lions schedule 2018

Lions regular-season schedule

Toughest tests: Get out the frequent-flier miles. Detroit has West Coast trips to Arizona and San Francisco, plus visits to Dallas and Miami. Buffalo could be a cold-weather challenge. The good news: Minnesota is Detroit's only road game against a NFC playoff team from last season.

Date Opponent Kickoff time TV network
Sept. 10 vs. New York Jets (Mon) 7:10 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 16 at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 23 vs. New England Patriots 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Sept. 30 at Dallas Cowboys 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 7 vs. Green Bay Packers 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 14 BYE
Oct. 21 at Miami Dolphins 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 28 vs. Seattle Seahawks 1 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 4 at Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 11 at Chicago Bears 1 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 18 vs. Carolina Panthers 1 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 22 vs. Chicago Bears (Thanksgiving) 12:30 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 2 vs. Los Angeles Rams 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 9 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 16 at Buffalo Bills 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 23 vs. Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 30 at Green Bay Packers 1 p.m. (FOX)

Lions preseason schedule

Week 1 at Oakland 10:30 p.m.
Week 2 NY Giants 7 p.m.
Week 3 at Tampa Bay 8 p.m.
Week 4 Cleveland 7 p.m.


Nov. 11 at Chicago Bears 1 p.m. (FOX)

Toughest tests: Get out the frequent-flier miles. Detroit has West Coast trips to Arizona and San Francisco, plus visits to Dallas and Miami. Buffalo could be a cold-weather challenge. The good news: Minnesota is Detroit's only road game against a NFC playoff team from last season.

Biggest breaks: The Lions haven't had a losing record at home since 2012, and that should help against tough opponents such as the Patriots, Panthers, Rams and Seahawks. Detroit also has won four of its last five Thanksgiving games despite last year's loss to Minnesota.

Bottom line: Detroit will have to be better in one-score games against an improved NFC North across the board. The Lions were 3-4 in one-score games last season — albeit with one loss coming on a controversial finish in a 30-26 loss to Atlanta. This record could go either way a game or two, but it is best to start in the middle given the tough road patches. Record prediction: 8-8