With the conclusion of the 2016 NFL regular season, the list of opponents that will appear on the Detroit Lions 2017 schedule is set.
The Detroit Lions‘ week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers did more than knock the Lions out of a division championship. It also finalized their list of opponents who will appear on the Lions’ 2017 schedule.
Most of the opponents have been known for some time. Home and road division games against the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings make up six of the 16 games on the schedule every year.
The NFL’s division rotation for scheduling locks in another eight games simply based on the calendar. 2017 marks the NFC North’s turn to match up with the NFC South and AFC North, so the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will appear on the schedules of all four NFC North teams.
That leaves just two games to be determined based on the results of the 2016 season. By virtue of finishing second in the NFC North, the Lions will draw the second place finisher in the NFC conferences not already on the schedule. For 2017, that’s the NFC West (Arizona Cardinals) and NFC East (New York Giants).
The breakdown between home and road will be as follows.
Home games: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals
Away games: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants
For now all we know is the who and the where. We won’t know the when until the NFL releases the full regular season weekly schedule in April.