The Detroit Lions have star power the NFL plans on showcasing starting Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season.
The Lions will begin the season with a primetime matchup on Monday Night Football vs. the New York Giants at Ford Field.
“That would be a great way to start the year, especially for myself, being on a new team, a new start and being one of the first primetime games would be special,” receiver
The Lions last opened the season on Monday Night Football in 1971 vs. the Vikings, a game they lost 16-13.
This marks the fourth consecutive season the Lions have played on Monday Night Football. They hosted Baltimore, and then Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, last season, losing on a 61-yard field goal as time was winding down.
It’ll be the second time playing the Giants on Monday Night. They beat the Giants, 15-9, in 1983 at the Pontiac Silverdome.
The Lions are 10-10 all-time at home on Monday Night Football.
The Detroit Tigers are scheduled to play at home vs. the Royals that night with a scheduled start of 7:08, making Downtown Detroit the place to be on Monday, Sept. 8.
The other two nationally broadcast games for the Lions will be their midseason trip to London to play the Atlanta Falcons (9:30 a.m. Eastern on Fox) and a Thanksgiving Day matchup with NFC North division foe Chicago (CBS).
It was originally thought the Lions would play either Buffalo or Miami on Thanksgiving Day being it was a CBS game, but the NFL has instituted a "cross flexing" policy, which means they’ll be switching a few games between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.
The Lions will face the Bears for the first time on Thanksgiving since 1999 when they won 21-17.
The team’s bye week falls right in the middle of the season after their Week 8 matchup vs. Atlanta in London.
Interestingly, the Lions rotate home and away games in consecutive weeks the first eight games of the season.
Detroit has home games against Tampa Bay (Week 14) and Minnesota (Week 15) following the Thanksgiving Day Game before finishing the season on the road at Chicago (Week 16) and at Green Bay the final game of the year.
The Lions haven’t won in the state of Wisconsin since 1991. The Packers won a 45-42 shootout the final game of the season in 2011 season in Green Bay.
In 2013, the Lions ranked 32nd in the NFL in the total miles traveled during the regular season with 4,202.
This year, Detroit is scheduled to log approximately 16,000 miles during the team’s eight regular season road games, including the London game vs. Atlanta. Compared to last year’s rankings, 16,000 regular season travel miles would place the Lions in the Top-10 for the most miles traveled.