The Detroit Lions head into their 2023 schedule as one of the teams many in the league are sure about to take off in 2023. The Lions are fresh off the back of a furious finish to last year, in which they won eight of their final 10 games and narrowly missed out on their first postseason berth since 2016.
Dan Campbell’s team is hoping to build on that strong finish in 2022 and push for both a division title and a spot in the postseason this year.
Detroit Lions Schedule
Lions Regular Season Schedule
- Week 1: at Chiefs (TNF)
NBC | 8:20 p.m. ET (Thursday, Sept. 7)
- Week 2: vs. Seahawks
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Sept. 17)
- Week 3: vs. Falcons
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Sept. 24)
- Week 4: at Packers (TNF)
Amazon Prime | 8:15 p.m. ET (Thursday, Sept. 28)
- Week 5: vs. Panthers
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Oct. 8)
- Week 6: at Buccaneers
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Oct. 15)
- Week 7: at Ravens
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Oct. 22)
- Week 8: vs. Raiders (MNF)
ESPN | 8:15 p.m. ET (Monday, Oct. 30)
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: at Chargers
CBS | 4:05 p.m. ET (Sunday, Nov. 12)
- Week 11: vs. Bears
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Nov. 19)
- Week 12: vs. Packers (Thanksgiving)
FOX | 12:30 p.m. ET (Thursday, Nov. 23)
- Week 13: at Saints
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Dec. 3)
- Week 14: at Bears
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Dec. 10)
- Week 15: vs. Broncos
- Week 16: at Vikings
FOX | 1 p.m. ET (Sunday, Dec. 24)
- Week 17: at Cowboys
ESPN | 8:15 p.m. ET (Saturday, Dec. 30)
- Week 18: vs. Vikings
Detroit Lions Team Strength of Schedule
The 2023 schedule appears to have worked out in a somewhat friendly fashion for the Lions. According to PFN’s Strength of Schedule matrix, the Lions have the ninth-easiest schedule in the league which by all estimations could be much harder than it is.
The No. 9 schedule is thanks, in part, to facing the much-maligned NFC South, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the potential level of the Vikings, Bears, and Packers, who they will face twice each, as always.
In terms of the division, the Vikings are the only team in the division with a tougher schedule than the Lions. Given that the Lions will have to face the Cowboys, Seahawks, and Ravens, who all finished second in their respective divisions, and are expected to be playoff challengers again, it is no surprise their schedule is harder than both the Bears and Packers at first glance.
Chicago and Green Bay have the fourth and third-place matchups, respectively, so have a slightly easier path in the new year.
Lions Team Record Prediction
There is excitement about with the Lions in 2023, and the NFL appears to be buying into that hype. Last year, Detroit was an entertaining team on the field, with some high-scoring losses early in the season turning into a run of good victories in the second half of the year. Head coach Dan Campbell has this team heading in the right direction and the league is taking notice.
Following the draft and the schedule release, the Lions have established themselves as the betting favorite to win the NFC North. Additionally, they find themselves fourth when it comes to the odds of being the NFC’s Super Bowl representative and is viewed as a real contender in the conference among the obvious names. However, they will need to improve in some key areas in 2023 if they are to make good on those expectations.
The defense will be the biggest factor in whether the Lions can deliver on those expectations or not. They ranked as the fourth-worst scoring defense last year and went about addressing and improving that area during this offseason.
The defensive backfield has been bolstered with the arrival of C.J. Gardner-Johson, Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley, and Brian Branch. Meanwhile, they will be hoping Alex Anzalone and Jack Campbell can form a solid central partnership at linebacker to fortify the second level.
Those additions have left the Lions ranked 16th in PFN’s 2023 defense rankings. While that may not seem that great, if their offense can perform in a similar manner to 2022, the defense simply finishing as a league-average unit could be more than good enough to make some noise this season.
However, despite the focus on uplifting the defensive unit, Detroit’s strength is clearly on offense. After an outstanding campaign led by coordinator Ben Johnson and quarterback Jared Goff, the Lions made a few additions to ensure their offense keeps clicking.
The Lions shocked the world by selecting running back Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall, and David Montgomery will take over Jamaal Williams’ role in the backfield. D’Andre Swift was quickly traded to the Eagles as they cleared playing time for Gibbs as the Lions look to build their offense to best help Jared Goff take the next step.
Meanwhile, the receiver room will have a little more turbulence despite their talent. Marvin Jones Jr. is back in Detroit after spending the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. With 2022 first-round receiver Jameson Williams suspended for the first six games of the year due to violating the NFL’s gambling policy, Josh Reynolds will need to take a step forward alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Overall, though, the trajectory of the Lions’ offense is still going upward. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta was a shrewd pick at the start of the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft that many felt was a great move at the spot, that will go a long way in filling a gaping need.
The NFC North is there for the taking. With Aaron Rodgers now out of the division and the Vikings primed to take a step backward after overperforming their underlying metrics in 2022, the Lions could emerge with the division crown in 2023.
Projected Record: 9-8