Schedule announcement coming next Tuesday
The NFL will release its full schedule at 7 p.m. Tuesday live on NFL.com and NFL Network.
Total speculation here, but I'd expect the Lions to open at home in 2009. They've started on the road the last two years, and coming off an 0-16 season (and with 17 straight losses overall) you can bet the NFL doesn't want the streak to linger.
At home next year, the Lions play: the Bears, Packers, Vikings, Cardinals, Rams, Steelers, Browns and Redskins. On the road, they play the three NFC North teams plus the 49ers, Seahawks, Ravens, Bengals and Saints.
Games against the Rams and Browns would seem to give the Lions the best chance to win. The Bears game would involve the most intriguing storyline with Jay Cutler and former coach Rod Marinelli now in the Windy City, but they play that Sunday night at Green Bay. Defending Super Bowl champ Pittsburgh also is accounted for in Week 1. The Steelers host the Titans on Sept. 10.
Update: As someone pointed out to me, the Lions play at Cleveland in Week 2 of the preseason so it's unlikely the two teams open against each other less than a month later. That makes the Rams, Cardinals, Vikings or Redskins the likely Week 1 opponent. I'll guess it's St. Louis in a battle of top draft picks (as was the case two years ago when the Lions-Raiders opened) and a revenge game for ex-Rams and current Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.