Lions Home Opener, Thanksgiving Game Leaked for 2021


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Jimmy Garoppolo gets hit against the Lions in 2018.

The two biggest dates on the calendar for every fan of the Detroit Lions are the home opener and the Thanksgiving Day game. Both have reportedly leaked ahead of the 2021 schedule release on Wednesday night.

First, the Lions will reportedly open the season against the San Francisco 49ers on September 12 at home. That was leaked by the NFL themselves, and the game will be broadcast on 1 p.m. on Fox.

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As for Detroit’s Thanksgiving game, that will apparently be at home against the Chicago Bears on November 25, 2021. Some Chicago insiders have been buzzing about that game already.

It’s too early to say what network will carry that game, but Fox could be up for that as well seeing as CBS carried last season’s Thanksgiving game against the Houston Texans. As a whole, it’s not shocking to see the Bears as the opponent given how often the sides have played recently on the holiday. The Lions and Bears have tangled on Thanksgiving in 2018 and 2019, both narrow victories by Chicago. As a result, the Lions will be looking for a measure of revenge this season.

Dan Campbell’s tenure will begin against an NFC West foe, and his first Thanksgiving game will come against a classic rival.


Lions vs. 49ers Series History

The Lions and 49ers have a long history against each other in the league, with San Francisco winning 38 games head-to-head and the Lions winning 28. The most recent time the sides faced off was in 2018, when the Lions lost a close game out west 30-27. As a whole, San Francisco has won four out of the last five against the Lions, with their only loss a 32-17 defeat in 2015, which was the last time they played at Ford Field.

Both teams are looking for a rebound after tough seasons in 2021, so kicking off against each other will be a good way to get things going.


Lions 2021 Schedule Looks Difficult

As for Detroit’s schedule next season, there will be several tough games throughout. In spite of the fact that the Lions finished in last place during 2020, their schedule still looks pretty treacherous. The AFC North is loaded and features three high-rising teams in the Browns, Steelers and Ravens to go with a team that could have a bright future in the Bengals. Other than that, the Lions will tangle with the NFC West, which is another stacked division. Obviously, it will be tough to quantify how difficult Detroit’s schedule might be without knowing more about when and where the games are played. Still, it’s tough not to think about the daunting nature of the battles that loom for Detroit, even as they have struggled.

Detroit has a changed team and a changed roster, and it’s possible with this reset, they could have a changed team as well. Even such, it’s tough not to look at the schedule and think about what kind of battles loom in the future.

These are merely the first two of many that will come.

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