Detroit Lions 2011 schedule highlights and lowlights: A fan’s guide

As a long time Detroit Lions ticket holder, I have been pleasantly satisfied with the progress my Lions made last season. With the 2011 NFL schedule released I was delighted to see a few games that will surely heighten the long time rivalries with divisional foes, especially the Monday night game on ESPN against the Bears. Below are my top three games on this year's Detroit Lions schedule.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions on October 10th - This is the best game on the schedule for two reasons, one the Lions will finally get back on Monday Night Football after a 10 year absence, but more importantly the Lions will have a chance to get revenge for last year's season opener versus Chicago that left a bad taste in Lions fans mouth for the rest of the 2010 season.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions on November 24th - A Thanksgiving game against the defending Super Bowl champions at home is going to be awesome. Not only will this be a great meter of the Lion's progress in 2011, it could have divisional playoff implications.

Detroit Lions at TampaBay Buccaneers on September 11th - The season opener featuring two up and coming organizations, and two young superstar quarterbacks in Matthew Stafford(notes) and Josh Freeman(notes), along with two very strong defenses will surely ignite this old time rivalry.

Of course there will be a few stinkers on the Lions schedule also.

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions on November 20th - It could be a good opportunity for the Lions to steal a win, but playing the Chicago Bears the week before and the Green Bay Packers the week after leaves this game looking like a dud.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions on November 24th - Yes I know this game is also on my top three games list, but if history is any indicator it could also become one of the worse games on the 2011 schedule. If the Lions become the "Lay-Downs" again and get stomped once more on national television during Thanksgiving, there may be a national revolt to take this game away from Detroit for good.

San Diego Chargers at Detroit Lions on December 24th - Just what I do not want to see at the end of the season, a late charging San Diego team that historically plays lights out during the month of December. If the Lions have an outside chance at a wild card spot, it may get squashed when the Chargers come to town.

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011