The NFL released its official 2022 schedule this past Thursday, and the schedule makers took their time planning revenge games, prime-time matchups and more. However, there was one team that did not receive a prime-time matchup: the Detroit Lions.
The Lions, who finished 3-13-1 in 2021, held on to their traditional Thanksgiving matchup in 2022, but even that special game will be their earliest kickoff of the season at 12:30 p.m. ET. While prime-time matchups are exciting for fans, Lions head coach Dan Campbell says he absolutely loves playing every game in the early afternoon.
“It’s awesome,” Campbell said about having no prime-time appearances, via Pro Football Talk. “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] 5 to 15. So who says we can’t get flexed?”
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Campbell is correct in saying that a Lions game could get flexed to a later time slot at the end of the year. Detroit’s Week 18 matchup against the Packers in Green Bay was not given an official kickoff time, meaning it could get pushed back to a late afternoon game or even a night game if playoff hopes are on the line for one of the franchises.
With the Lions not having a true “prime-time” game in 2022, maybe it makes them more likely to be flexed later on in the season — especially if they show on-field improvement. Campbell certainly hopes the league stays away from tinkering with his kickoff times.