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Lions-Saints on NBC Week 13

Calvin Johnson

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) watches in the closing moments of the Lions’ 37-13 loss to the Chicago Bears in an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


In another sign of the turnaround in Detroit, the NFL has moved the Lions into the NBC prime time slot for Week 13.

The Lions have announced that their December 4 game at New Orleans has been moved into prime time, making it the first time ever that the Lions have been on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

The NFL had previously announced, to the surprise of no one, that the winless Colts’ game with the Patriots would not remain in the Week 13 prime time slot. Who would have thought when the schedule came out that Lions-Saints would be a marquee game, and Colts-Patriots would be a stinker?

Between the Lions’ Thanksgiving game against the Packers and the Saints game the following week, this will be the first time the Lions have played consecutive nationally televised games since 2000, when they beat the Patriots on Thanksgiving and then lost to the Vikings on ESPN the following week.

With both teams at 7-3 right now, Lions-Saints will have major NFC playoff implications. The Saints are in first place in the NFC South, while the Lions are the leaders in the NFC wild card race.

The Lions are the 31st NFL franchise to appear on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The Texans are the only team that has never been in an NBC Sunday night game.