Last month the NFL announced that the Lions would play in London during the 2014 season. Yesterday the date for the game was officially announced. The Lions will play the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 26th.
The game in London will count as a road game for the Detroit Lions which means they will still have eight home dates at Ford Field in 2014. The Atlanta Falcons will serve as the home team.
There is another added benefit to the London game. According to Lions beat writer Tim Twentyman of Detroitlions.com, the NFL has guaranteed the Lions their bye week will occur after the London game. That puts the bye week in the middle of the regular season. A perfect position for a team looking to recover from injury before the stretch run.
Lions President Tom Lewand is excited about the challenge the game presents to the team.
That’s a really good challenge for them. The travel. The crowd size. The pageantry that’s involved. Those things provide valuable experience for any team and its players.”
Whether the game is in London or in Atlanta, it doesn’t change the fact that the game against the Falcons mid-season could have NFC tie breaker implications.
In case you are wondering, the Detroit Lions have played in London before. In 1993 the Lions played the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-13 tie. The Lions finished the 1993 season 10-6 only to lose to the Green Bay Packers in round 1 of the playoffs.