Allen Park, Mich. – The Detroit Lions announced their full 2012 season schedule today. For the first time since the 1998 season, Detroit will appear in five nationally televised games with four prime time appearances.

Since the launch of Monday Night Football in 1970, this marks just the fourth time (1990, 1994 and 1998) the Lions will play in five nationally televised games during a season. It is only the second time (1998) that Detroit will have four prime time games in a season.

Detroit’s first prime time game occurs in Week 2 when the Lions travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, who claimed the NFC West last season, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (9/16; 8:30 p.m.; NBC). The Lions return to SNF after appearing on NBC’s prime time game for the first time last season when the NFL flexed the team’s game at New Orleans (12/4/11) into the Sunday night prime time slot. The Lions also played in prime time on NBC during last year’s playoff game at New Orleans (1/7/12).

The Lions prime time game in Week 2 is the club’s earliest prime time game in any season since it opened the 1991 season at Washington during a Sunday night TNT telecast.

In 2011, the Lions returned to MNF for the first time in 10 years when they defeated Chicago at Ford Field (10/10/11) in front of a record crowd. This year, ESPN will once again feature the Lions on MNF.

In Week 7, the Lions travel to Chicago to play the Bears on MNF (10/22; 8:30 p.m.; ESPN). It is the Lions’ first-ever prime time game at Soldier Field. Detroit has previously played Chicago five times on MNF and twice on SNF, but all seven prime time games occurred at home.

The schedule features the Lions’ 73rd Thanksgiving Day Classic (11/22; 12:30 p.m.; CBS) vs. the Houston Texans, who won the AFC South division last season. This year’s game marks the first time the Lions will play the Texans on Thanksgiving and the third time in the series. The teams have split the first two games with each home team claiming victories.

Their next prime time game is set for Week 14 when they face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on SNF (12/9/12; 8:30 p.m.; NBC). This year’s meeting is the sixth prime time game between the two clubs since 1970 and first since they played on Sunday night December 11, 2005. The Lions have played three previous games (11/1/71, 11/2/97 and 12/11/05) at Green Bay on prime time television.

Detroit’s fourth prime time game features an ESPN MNF broadcast on Saturday night as the Lions host the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field in Week 16 (12/22/12; 8:30 p.m.; ESPN). The Lions have played the Falcons only one previous time in prime time, which dates back to the team’s meeting October 1, 1973.

In Week 1, Detroit will kick off the regular season at home for the first time since 2006 when they host the St. Louis Rams at Ford Field (9/9/12; 1 p.m.; FOX).

The Lions Bye Week occurs during Week 5 (Sunday, October 7) of the NFL season.

Week 1: September 9th Detroit Lions vs. St. Louis Rams 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: September 16th Detroit Lions @ San Fransisco 49ers 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: September 23rd Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: September 30th Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings 1:00 p.m.

Week 5: Bye Week

Week 6: October 14th Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 p.m.

Week 7: October 22nd Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears 8:30 p.m.

Week 8: October 28th Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: November 4th Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 p.m.

Week 10: November 11th Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings 1;00 p.m.

Week 11: November 18th Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: November 22nd Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans 12:30 p.m.

Week 13: December 2nd Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: December 9th Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers 8:20 p.m.

Week 15: December 16th Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: December 22nd Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons 8:30 p.m.

Week 17: December 30th Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears 1:00 p.m.

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