Earlier this offseason, it was revealed that the Kansas City Chiefs would be hosting an international game in Germany for the 2023 season. That led many to speculate that the Detroit Lions could be their overseas opponent. The Lions are one of eight opponents who will play a road game against the Chiefs in 2023, and of those eight opponents, the Lions are the only team who has not played an international games in the past five years—excluding the Bills, who are already scheduled to play in London in 2023.
There were rumors earlier this offseason that the Chiefs will be hosting the Chicago Bears in Germany this season. That rumors turned out to be false, but the NFL revealed on Wednesday morning it was the Miami Dolphins who would head overseas for the matchup against the Chiefs.
It’s a mildly surprising development. Detroit is not only a marketable team right now, but given that they haven’t played an international game since 2015, it certainly seems like they were due to play in Germany. Even team president Rod Wood seemed to suggest this was going to be the year it happens.
“We’re eligible,” Wood said at the owners meetings this year. “And I think if it helped us defer giving up a home game the following year, that would be advantageous. So we’re due to go, and I guess I would rather go as a road team first and then years down the road give up a home game.”
Unfortunately for Wood, that won’t be happening this year, which means it's very possible that Detroit may have to give up one of their home games in 2024 to travel internationally. New NFL rules state that, beginning in 2022, every team must play an international “home” game at least once every eight seasons.
Given that the Lions will enter 2024 nine years removed from their last international trip, it certainly feels like an overseas trip is likely next season.