One of Detroit’s three nationally televised games this upcoming season will take place in London on Oct. 26 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Detroit has played in London once before, a 13-13 tie in an exhibition game against the Cowboys in 1993. Matthew Stafford was five years old.
Adjusting to the five hour time change and different practice environments will be something both the Lions and Falcons have to deal with. Players love their routines, but there’s nothing routine about preparing and playing a regular season game overseas.
The adjustment for Stafford, however, might be a little easier seeing as how he spent a week in London during the Super Bowl this year.
“It was more of an NFL thing than it was a Lions thing, but I’m sure it had something to do with us going over there and playing this year against Atlanta,” Stafford said. “But it was a blast. People out there love the game. You don’t hear about it much over here because you just don’t.
“It’s so far away. But it was a warm reception. People were really excited about the Super Bowl. You had fans of every team. I mean, you couldn’t have picked one team out of there. There were all 32 teams represented, people with jerseys on, fans having a good time.”
The game will be aired nationally on FOX at 9:30 a.m. in the east. It’s the first time an NFL game will kick off that early in the morning.
“I kind of did a little media tour, and then I went to a big venue that they have that they were holding for a couple hundred it seemed like, maybe a thousand, fans that had won a contest to watch the Super Bowl,” Stafford said.
“There was an emcee and I was kind of the special guest, talked before the game, halftime. I picked the Broncos, so they all think I’m an idiot. But it was fun. It was a blast. I went and saw a soccer game, which was cool. Those fans, they love that down there too. So, it was neat. It was a great time.”