The NFL officially announced on Wednesday morning the teams who will play in all five international games for the 2022 season. This year, the NFL will play three games in England, one in Mexico, and one in Germany. Here are the matchups the league announced on Tuesday:
October 2 — 9:30 a.m. ET— London — Vikings at Saints
October 9 — 9:30 a.m. ET — London — Giants at Packers
October 30 — 9:30 a.m. ET — London — Broncos at Jaguars
November 21 — 8:15 p.m. ET — Mexico City — 49ers at Cardinals
As you probably have noticed by now, the Detroit Lions are not included in the international series this year. The five home teams had been previously announced, which narrowed down Detroit’s options to play internationally to one because, of those five home teams, the Lions only play the Packers on the road this year. However, Detroit was an unlikely opponent for the Packers in London, as the league was likely going to avoid moving a potentially important divisional game to a neutral site. Although, as we see from the Mexico City matchup, it was still possible.
The Lions have not played a game overseas since their 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in a 2015 game in London. Under new NFL rules, each team must host at least one international game every eight years, and host teams will typically be from the conference with nine home games that year (under the new 17-game policy). That means they are unlikely to be the home team in an international game next year, as the AFC will have nine homes in 2023.
Lions team president Rod Wood said at the owners meetings this year that he expects Detroit’s name to be called soon.
“Next year, I would assume, it won’t be a home game but might be a road game,” Wood said. “And then the following year, we’d be eligible for it. We’ll see. They never even approached us about it this year, so I don’t know. We’re probably due, we haven’t been (since 2015).”