Lions will play a nationally-televised preseason game for the second straight year

Posted Apr 4, 2012

For the second year in a row, the Lions will play a nationally-televised primetime preseason game, visiting Baltimore the second week of the preseason for a national audience on FOX Aug. 17.

It's the first time the franchise has played on national television in consecutive years in the preseason since 1991-93, dating back to the glory days of Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

The national nod for this year's preseason adds to the growing list of recent games played in front of a national TV audience. The Lions played on national TV four times last year: once in the preseason, once on ESPN's Monday Night Football and twice on NBC on Sunday Night, indicating the Lions' growing popularity outside the local market thanks to players like Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh.

The preseason schedule will begin with the Lions hosting the Browns between Aug. 9-13 (date to be determined).

That game will be the 44th meeting between the two teams in the preseason with the Lions holding a 24-18-1 advantage. They've met in the preseason each of the last 11 seasons.

The Lions will then hit the road consecutive weeks, visiting the Ravens (Aug. 17) and the Raiders (Aug. 23-26) before hosting the Bills in the preseason finale either Aug. 29 or 30.

The Bills and Lions have met in each of the last 11 years in the preseason and this year's contest will be the 32nd matchup overall in the preseason between the two teams with the Lions holding the edge in record at 19-11-1.