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Detroit Lions 2011 Schedule Includes Monday Night Football Against Bears, Thanksgiving Against Packers

The Detroit Lions 2011 schedule has been announced. The two things that jump out immediately are that the Lions will host the Chicago Bears for Monday Night Football on Oct. 10 and they will host the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Sept. 11 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m., FOX)
Sept. 18 - vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m., CBS)
Sept. 25 - at Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)
Oct. 2 - at Dallas Cowboys (1 p.m., FOX)
Oct. 10 - vs. Chicago Bears (8:30 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 16 - vs. San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m., FOX)
Oct. 23 - vs. Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m., FOX)
Oct. 30 - at Denver Broncos (4:05 p.m., FOX)
Nov. 6 - BYE
Nov. 13 - at Chicago Bears (1 p.m., FOX)
Nov. 20 - vs. Carolina Panthers (1 p.m., FOX)
Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving) - vs. Green Bay Packers (12:30 p.m., FOX)
Dec. 4 - at New Orleans Saints (1 p.m., FOX)
Dec. 11 - vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)
Dec. 18 - at Oakland Raiders (4:05 p.m., FOX)
Dec. 24 - vs. San Diego Chargers (4:05 p.m., CBS)
Jan. 1 - at Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., FOX)

As you can see, Detroit opens the season on the road against the Buccaneers. The home opener will be against the Chiefs, and then the Lions will have two more road games. While starting the season with three of their first four games on the road for the second straight year is less than ideal, getting to host three consecutive home games in October is nice. This homestand will take them through most of October, as the only game left that month after it will be a road contest against the Broncos.

Following their bye in Week 9, the Lions will head to Chicago to play the Bears. They then get the Panthers and Packers at home, with the Green Bay game being played on Thanksgiving. December then begins with a game in New Orleans against the Saints. The Lions will host the Vikings a week later and then proceed to head west to meet the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers come to town on Christmas Eve, and the Lions wrap up the regular season a week later on New Year's Day at the Packers.

SB Nation has more on the 2011 NFL regular season schedule.