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.”