With no prime-time games, Lions coach Dan Campbell gets the best of both worlds

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions
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Bad news for coach Dan Campbell, the NFL didn’t pick the Lions for a prime-time game in 2022. Good news for Campbell, the NFL didn’t pick the Lions for a prime-time game in 2022.

“It’s awesome,” Campbell told reporters recently regarding the absence of prime-time appearances. “One o’clock games. It’s awesome. One o’clock. You knock them out, you go home, you get ready for the next opponent. You’re not waiting all day in the hotel, all night. Then you go up, now you’re on a short week, it feels like. So I’ve got no problem. And by the way, you can get flexed, [Week] Five to 15. So who says we can’t get flexed?”

It gives Campbell a set routine, week in and week out. Coaches love that. It also gives Campbell a device for driving his players to play their way into prime-time. And to react to the actual/perceived lack of respect from the league office.

Speaking of lack of respect, the notion that the Lion didn’t get a prime-time game because they have a big-tent game on Thanksgiving seems more than a little disingenuous. They’ve owned that game for decades. As noted over the weekend, the mere fact that the league pointed to the early Thanksgiving window as justification for not giving the prime-time games creates the no-so-subtle impression that, just as the NFL giveth the Thanksgiving game to the Lions way back when, the NFL can taketh it away, whenever it wants.

It likely won’t. But it became a useful, albeit clumsy, basis for the league to explain the decision to give the Lions no other national windows this season. And that’s good for Campbell, who can seize on the slew of one o’clock games to better plan for each week and to better motivate the troops.

So be happy about this, Lions fans. Happy enough to declare throughout the coming campaign, “I love the smell of kneecaps in the late morning.”

18 responses to “With no prime-time games, Lions coach Dan Campbell gets the best of both worlds

  1. As a Lions fan, I don’t mind. I am buying into the philosophy and building this staff and management have been engaging in, and I think the Lions will have a better record and roster than last year.

    Hopefully they can surprise the league with their success this year.

  2. I’m sure there is a scheduling algorithm that could be used to randomly assign teams to play dates that can encompass the needs of stadium availability, etc. At no time should there be meddling to present the most popular matchups for ratings. If the schedule is done fairly through no intervention by money grubbers, then no one can complain. This would apply to all Thanksgiving and outside of the US games. At no time should there be games on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s (the latter being the propensity for intoxication, the former because those are family times).

  3. Thanksgiving is often about traditions but I am ready to see the best teams each year play on Thanksgiving instead of always giving Detroit a game.

  4. I’ll say it, Dan: you can’t get flexed. Not happening. But, as you pointed out first, look at the positives. Minimize schedule disruption and use it to your advantage, building a young team from the ground up. There is a lot of building to be done, but should be minimal pressure (by NFL standards) on this entire group, players and management. No distractions. Just get to work.

  5. The Ford family’s record as owners is beyond abysmal, sell the team already, the fans have suffered for more than half a century.

  6. I root for the Lions one day a year –on Thanksgiving. I’ve been doing so since I was a kid (nearly 50 years ago) watching the game with my grandpa and cousins at his house near Michigan. Love it.

  7. I love Campbell’s enthusiasm and hope he makes the Lions the team we all dislike in 5 years. Would be a great story to see the Lions get it turned around. RESTORE THE ROAR!!!

  8. Love Dan Campbell’s attitude and perspective. The league and the television networks humiliate the Lions, and he tries to more than make the best of it. Give Detroit two primetime games, one from Tampa Bay, the other from Dallas. Go Lions!!

  9. I’m betting I’m not alone in saying I wish all NFL games were back to 1pm and 4pm Sunday.

  10. Lions fan here: by winning 3 games AND not having any of the NFL-preferred marquee names on the roster, of course there are no primetime games on the schedule. Who cares? This team has more fundamental priorities to address like teaching all those 21-22 year olds on the team than worrying about an overhyped MNF game or a lousy TNF matchup.

  11. I don’t think I’m alone in just wanting the season to start. I just love the game and I love the history and I’m ready for another year. Who knows what’s gonna happen in Detroit this year? I don’t but I wanna know.

  12. Is Jared Goff still their QB?

    He is? Then they’re still irrelevant and bottom of the division.

  13. Lions will have a positive record after the first game of the season. The 2nd pick in the draft will shine and help his team get a 1 – 0 record. You heard it here 1st!

  14. You mean the Thanksgiving Day game is NOT considered a prime time game? No other games are going on at that time.

  15. Prime time games are earned, but if you look at the Lions’ cake-walk schedule, Lions fans should reasonably expect a return to respectability. If not, then the bold coaching statements hold less water and his seat should get hot.

  16. 7 wins is probably the ceiling this year for the Lions. But this team has competent management and leadership now. Another draft and off season should have them taking the next step.

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