2020 nfl week 3 predictions

2020 Detroit Lions schedule: Dave Birkett’s game-by-game predictions

Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett breaks down when the Detroit Lions’ 2020 schedule and how that sets up for them. Detroit Free Press

Making schedule predictions in the spring never seems like a bright thing to do, and that’s especially the case this year.

The Detroit Lions open the regular season at home against the Chicago Bears and close it at home against the Minnesota Vikings, but that’s merely a best-case scenario for now.

There’s no telling what the coronavirus pandemic will do the schedule, or the makeup of the teams playing the games.

I think the Lions will be better this fall, and I don’t think there’s a great team in the NFC North. But with a little over four months to go until the start of the season, I can’t quite see the Lions as a playoff team yet.

Here’s my way-too-early game-by-game prediction:

Lions QB Matthew Stafford stands in the the tunnel before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Nov. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Photo: Adam Bettcher, Getty Images)

Week 1: Lions vs. Bears

Sept. 13, 1 p.m., Fox – The Lions are the only team that will be happy to see the Bears starting someone other than Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback this fall. Pick: Lions 27, Bears 21

Week 2: Lions at Packers

Sept. 20, 1 p.m., Fox: Lions at Packers – Aaron Rodgers will be a man on a mission early in the year, with Jordan Love biding his time on the bench. Pick: Packers 30, Lions 21

Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson, center, celebrates his touchdown with Danny Amendola during the second half of the Lions’ 27-27 tie with the Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Joe Camporeale USA TODAY Sports)

Week 3: Lions at Cardinals

Sept. 27, 4:25 p.m., Fox – As long as Matt Patricia isn’t on crutches, and the Lions don’t take an untimely timeout, they’ll avenge last year’s crushing tie. Pick: Lions 24, Cardinals 23.

[ No prime time games as coronavirus concerns linger ]

Week 4: Lions vs. Saints

Oct. 4, 1 p.m., Fox – Better hope you have Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara on your fantasy team this week. Pick: Saints 28, Lions 20

Week 5: Bye

Week 6: Lions at Jaguars

Oct. 18, 1 p.m., Fox – Maybe Matthew Stafford can grow a Gardner Minshew-like mustache during the week. Pick: Lions 27, Jaguars 17

We don’t know when the Detroit Lions will be playing in 2020, but we know who they’ll face and where. Here’s a look at the schedule for this season. Wochit

Week 7: Lions at Falcons

Oct. 25, 1 p.m., Fox – The Lions are 0-3 in the second of back-to-back road games under Matt Patricia. Pick: Falcons 30, Lions 24

Week 8: Lions vs. Colts

Nov. 1, 1 p.m., CBS – Philip Rivers looked done last year. Changing teams won’t make that any different this fall. Pick: Lions 23, Colts 21

Receiver: Marvin Jones Jr. (Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn, USA TODAY Sports)

Week 9: Lions at Vikings

Week 9, Nov. 8, 1 p.m., CBS – The Vikings are my early-May pick to win the NFC North, and even with Rick Wagner gone, Danielle Hunter is licking his lips at the thought of facing the Lions again. Pick: Vikings 19, Lions 16

Week 10: Lions vs. Washington

Nov. 15, 1 p.m., Fox – Chase Young might have two sacks in this game, but Jeff Okudah will have the last laugh with game-clinching interception. Pick: Lions 27, Washington 13

Week 11: Lions at Panthers

Nov. 22, 1 p.m., Fox – For the second straight year, the NFL gave the Lions a road game before their annual Thanksgiving affair. Pick: Lions 34, Panthers 21

Week 12: Lions vs. Texans

Nov. 26, 12:30 p.m., CBS – Anyone else having unpleasant flashbacks of Jim Schwartz hurling a challenge flag onto the field while Justin Forsett celebrates in the end zone? Pick: Texans 21, Lions 20

Detroit Lions’ Trey Flowers (90) celebrates his sack with Tavon Wilson in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on Nov. 28, 2019. (Photo: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

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