Ranking Lions' 2024 Opponents

The Lions will have to play several playoff teams from a season ago.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs in the Super Bowl.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs in the Super Bowl. / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions now know the exact order of their opponents for the upcoming season. The roadmap to a second-consecutive division title has been revealed.

Detroit is a popular pick to make noise throughout the season, and is currently favored in 13 of its 17 regular season games. Still, the NFL is a challenging league and the organization will be tested plenty throughout the season.

Here's a ranking of each of the Lions' 14 opponents on their 2024 schedule.

14. Cardinals

The Cardinals are young and a year or two away from being serious contenders. Kyler Murray will keep defenses on their toes with his mobility, and Marvin Harrison has the potential to be a star. However, the Lions get them early in the year before much of their young talent will have a chance to jell.

13. Titans

Tennessee is entering a new era under new head coach in Brian Callahan, who takes over for Mike Vrabel. The Titans do have some pieces and could be competitive, but their success will depend on the acclimation of quarterback Will Levis.

If the second-year passer can take strides, they are a team worthy of moving up this list. However, their current state doesn't match up well with the Lions' physicality.

12. Seahawks

Much like Tennessee, the Seahawks are entering the first year of a new regime. How the group fares under defensive-minded Mike MacDonald remains to be seen, but there's plenty of talent on that offense. DK Metcalf is still uber-talented, and Geno Smith has revived his career in Seattle. The Seahawks have also gave the Lions fits over the last several seasons.

11. Jaguars

Jacksonville will go where Trevor Lawrence takes them in 2024. The former top pick has had success, but has yet to ascend to the level that many thought he'd be at by now. He's entering the final stages of his rookie deal, so this season will be a pivotal one for the Jaguars. Can they reclaim the top spot in the AFC South? It will be tough with other teams trending upwards.

10. Colts

Indianapolis is an intriguing group. They have an elite athletic talent at quarterback in Anthony Richardson who is also surrounded by weapons. Richardson flashed talent in his rookie campaign, which was cut short due to injuries. He is a big factor to the team's overall success, as they still nearly made the playoffs despite him being sidelined.

9. Vikings

The Vikings' 2023 campaign was derailed by Kirk Cousins' injury. Now, Cousins is gone and the Vikings will choose between Sam Darnold and rookie J.J. McCarthy under center.

There's a talented supporting cast offensively, and the defense added talent in the offseason. Though they have the most question marks, there are also pieces in place for them to be successful.

8. Buccaneers

The first of the Lions' three playoff opponents to appear on this list, the Buccaneers are in a unique spot. After winning the division last year, their division could be tougher this time around.

However, they committed to Baker Mayfield for the future and have a stout defense. Antoine Winfield is one of the league's best safeties, and Vita Vea anchors a strong defensive line.

7. Bears

What will Chicago get from Caleb Williams in year one? If the rookie lives up to expectations immediately, the Bears will be in contention for the division title. There's so much talent around the young passer at the skill positions that the group could be tough to stop late in the year.

The defense also has plenty of talent, headlined by Montez Sweat and Jaylon Johnson. Chicago has plenty of potential, and there will be a lot riding on the rookie quarterback early.

Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams throws the ball during rookie minicamp.
May 10, 2024; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams throws the ball during rookie minicamp. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

6. Rams

The Lions' season opener will be no slouch, as the Rams will come in looking for revenge. Detroit knocked off L.A. by a single point last year in the wild card round. While the Rams lost Aaron Donald, they reloaded up front defensively through the Draft.

With two young stars in Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams alongside Cooper Kupp, the Rams are in a good spot still. They're aging, but Matthew Stafford is set up nicely to try to continue competing to get back to the top.

5. Packers

Green Bay was able to match Detroit's physicality during their second meeting last year, which was more emblematic of the team the Packers were at the end of the year. Green Bay has a plethora of young talent at the skill positions, including a receiving corps that could contend for the best in the division.

If Jordan Love can continue to play at a high level, Green Bay will push the Lions hard for the division title.

4. Cowboys

Dallas is entering a pivotal season. Dak Prescott is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal, which means his performance could alter the future of the franchise. Luckily for the Cowboys, they have strong playmakers on both sides of the football.

Micah Parsons is a versatile talent who is tough to block on either side of the line, while Ceedee Lamb torched the Lions a season ago. Additionally, the Lions will have to travel to Jerry World, where winning has been tough for all opponents.

3. Bills

Buffalo has one of the league's best quarterbacks in Josh Allen. For that reason, they're going to be competitive at a high level. However, the Bills will have to deal with life without Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis as Allen's top targets.

The Bills seem to find ways to compete when it matters most, rallying to win the division last year after an up-and-down start. Buffalo will be once again in the running at the end, assuming all stay healthy.

2. Texans

Houston has all the makings of being an elite team in the near future. They nailed both of their first round picks in C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson, giving them foundational pieces on both sides of the ball.

Additionally, the Texans used the offseason to upgrade around their talented players with veteran additions. Now, Houston is in prime condition to go after a playoff run in the upcoming season.

1. 49ers

The Week 17 matchup with San Francisco will carry plenty of weight for the Lions. It'll be a rematch of the NFC Championship game from a season ago and could also be for the number one overall seed in the NFC.

Detroit struggled to match up with the 49ers' physical receivers in the second half, and Christian McCaffrey is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. The Lions have made necessary additions and adjustments, but this game will be the ultimate measuring stick.

Christian Booher


Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.