Will The Detroit Lions Play A Game Outside The U.S. In 2019?
The short answer: Maybe?
The NFL has announced there will be four games in London and one game in Mexico City during the 2019 season as part of the league's International Series. The host teams for those games will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have a deal to host a game in London annually, along with the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The official 2019 NFL schedule won't be out until around mid-April, but most of the Detroit Lion's opponents are already known and from there we can narrow down if a road game might take the team overseas or south of the border.
We know that their six NFC North divisional match-ups will be normal home and away games as the Bears, Packers and Vikings are not hosting international games. In 2019, the Detroit Lions play each of the NFC East and AFC West teams. Of those eight games, the only one on the road against a team participating in the International Series is the Oakland Raiders, scheduled to host a game in Mexico City. If the Lions are chosen as the opponent, it would be their first game ever in Mexico.
What's left? There are two undetermined opponents for Detroit in 2019. A home game with an NFC South team and an away game with an NFC West team will be decided by which team the Lions have the most similar final record to in those divisions after the 2018 regular season is over. The Los Angeles Rams are the only team in the NFC West hosting an international game. The Lions and Rams mathematically will not play each other based on the difference in their records.
So there you have it. The Lions only shot at an away game outside the U.S. in 2019 is a potential date with the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.
Since the NFL began their International Series in 2007, the Lions have participated in two games, both in London. In 2014 they defeated the Atlanta Falcons and in 2015 they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.