Dave Choate at SB Nation’s Falcoholic site believes it is likely the Atlanta Falcons will go to London to play an international game in October. Although the article emphasizes the interest from the Denver side to move their game with Atlanta to London, MLive’s Kyle Meinke pointed out the following:
Lions play at Atlanta next year. Haven’t played internationally since 2015. The chances are pretty good this game is moved abroad. https://t.co/mDGWyrLtWU— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) January 24, 2020
That last appearance in London was a blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that moved the team to 1-7 in 2015, and was the game right before the Lions fired general manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand during their Bye Week. While that was unpleasant to say the least, the International Series game played by the Lions in 2014 against the Falcons had a tremendously entertaining second half:
At the very end of the game is the sequence that starts with the Lions defense forcing the Falcons to punt from the Detroit 40-yard line. Stafford led a drive from the Detroit 7-yard line with 1:38 left on the clock to set up a game-winning field goal. Matt Prater lined up for a field goal with four seconds remaining and missed, but had to re-kick (which he made) due to a delay of game penalty against the Lions before the snap. Also worth a mention: Stafford’s deep strike down the right sideline to Golden Tate in the third quarter to start the comeback was the score that moved him into the franchise career lead over Bobby Layne’s 198 touchdown passes.
Our fearless leader Jeremy Reisman said two years ago that he did not like the idea of the Lions playing overseas games. Nothing official yet, but it seems like there is a decent chance a London game may be in the cards for the 2020 regular season. With that, we now move on to the rest of your Notes for today:
- Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press asked NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks about who the Lions should consider drafting in the third spot, and Brooks liked a player from Ohio State that fits a team need.
- As we head into draft hype season, here’s an oldie but goodie from the radar chart vault (h/t to @KHMakerD):
It feels like I post this chart a year, but it bears repeating: Calvin Johnson was an alien. pic.twitter.com/QLDajdoRbc— Robert Mays (@robertmays) January 24, 2020
- The 2019 Detroit Lions were actually not terrible at something. By two out of three expert rankings, they were a little better than mediocre in the kicking game:
- Speaking of special teams, Kent Lee Platte on our staff (@mathbomb) noticed that NFL Football Operations’ Extra Point Blog (@StatsbyLopez) quietly posted a very cool piece on punting last weekend titled ”Punters in 2019 Were Performing Better Than Ever.”
- From the Pro Bowl skills competition last night, Darius Slay defended the red wall against the AFC’s Lamar Jackson (skip to 1:55) and Deshaun Watson (skip to 5:30):
The victorious NFC squad of Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, Eddie Jackson (who defended the blue wall against the AFC quarterbacks), and Big Play Slay are interviewed at the 7:15 mark.