Are the Lions ready for prime time?

When we last saw the Lions, they were closing the door on Aaron Rodgers’ tenure with the Packers, keeping Green Bay out of the playoffs in the last game of the 2022 regular season.

We’ll see them again in five nights’ time, in the first game of 2023.

Are they ready to take on the bosses at the start of the season? That remained to be seen.

They started very slowly in 2022, with a 1-6 record. They turned it around and almost made it to the playoffs. Even though they knew they wouldn’t get in by the time the Week 18 game started Sunday night, they played hard and well and kept the Packers out.

Can they beat the bosses on the night they raise the flag? Can they win again at Lambeau Field exactly three weeks later, in the first of two games on Thursday 2023 against the Packers?

They have a home game Monday night in Week 8 against the Raiders, the night before Halloween. They have a Week 17 game on Saturday night in Dallas.

And there could be more, thanks to expanded flex options for 2023. And if Lions are in the flex mix, that means they’re having a good year.

For now, the Lions have become a magnet for pre-season hype. Whether it’s winning the regular season finale or the fact that it’s been a long time since they’ve been consistently good or people love Coach Dan Campbell or some combination of all three, the Lions are getting the kind of attention they rarely get heading into the season.

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Whether that vibe lasts depends on whether they win – with two prime-time Tests early in the season showing either the Lions are real or they are the same old team that hasn’t won a playoff since George HW Bush. President.

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