The 2011 NFL regular season schedule will not be released until later this month, but already there has been a lot of talk amongst Lions fans about Detroit getting a Monday Night Football game or possibly one on Sunday night. It has been quite a while since the Lions have had a non-Thanksgiving game nationally televised, but after the progress they showed last season, the thinking is this will finally be the year for the drought to end.
The Detroit Lions 2011 preseason schedule was announced on Tuesday (as was the entire 2011 NFL preseason schedule), and it serves as a sign that the TV networks may be warming up to Jim Schwartz and company. The third game on the preseason schedule is a home matchup against the New England Patriots, and it is set to be broadcast nationally on CBS. Last year's Thanksgiving game on CBS featured these two teams and it did very well in the ratings. While the rematch on CBS will only be a preseason game, hopefully it is a sign of things to come for nationally televised regular season games.
The other three games on the schedule feature common preseason opponents with the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. Those three games will be broadcast locally on WXYZ (ABC) Channel 7. Specific dates and times for those games will be released at a later date, as indicated below.
|1||Aug. 11-15, 2011
||vs. Cincinnati Bengals
|2||Aug. 18-22, 2011
||at Cleveland Browns
|3||Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011
||vs. New England Patriots
|4||Sept. 1-2, 2011
||at Buffalo Bills
Obviously the NFL lockout needs to be resolved for any of these games to be played. August is still four months away, but Tony Grossi of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that teams need at least three weeks of training camp to begin the preseason on time. That means that a new CBA would need to be in place by July 21 for the start of the preseason to not be affected.