Another riveting installment of the London series takes place Sunday morning as the (2-5) Kansas City Chiefs look to win their second consecutive game when they take on the Detroit Lions (1-6).
The last time the Lions were across the pond, they provided Londoners with one of the more exciting finishes you will see with a last-second field goal as time expired to beat the Atlanta Falcons. A win for Detroit this time around would do little in the standings, but is much-needed for a team that is tied for the worst record in the league.
This will be the Chiefs' debut appearance in London.
Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (London)
Kickoff: 9:30 a.m. ET (Sunday)
TV Channel: FOX
Spread: Lions -2.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Coaching hot seat
In each of the past two seasons a head coach in the NFL has been fired after making the trip back following the London game. Last year it was Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and earlier this season Joe Philbin following the Dolphins' blowout loss to the Jets in Week 4. The Lions now make the trip overseas with head coach Jim Caldwell squarely on the hot seat after the team’s 1-6 start in 2015, and that seat will only grow warmer if Detroit puts up another embarrassing performance like they did against the Vikings a week ago. When a team has the talent as Detroit does to compete on a weekly basis, and it continues to lose in the fashion it has been, the blame falls squarely on coaching. Will the recent shakeup of the coaching staff finally light a fire under this team?
2. Chiefs head East with West
Charcandrick West became a household name amongst fantasy football owners three weeks ago after Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending knee injury. That popularity dropped considerably after his first career start ended with just 33 yards rushing against the Vikings. West fared much better against the Steelers last week, topping 100 yards rushing and getting his first career touchdown in the win. Asked by reporters this week what is his goal against Detroit, West jokingly stated, “Two hundred yards and three touchdowns.” Against a reeling Lions defense, that is not out of the realm of possibilities.
3. Lions to stay in London?
The Detroit fan base has reached a new boiling point with the organization after another poor start that will likely result in yet another season of not making the playoffs. So bad in fact that some Detroit fans have started a petition to keep the team from returning to the U.S. following the game in London. As is stands on Thursday, there are currently 360 signatures and just under 100,000 are needed for this to actually happen. For those that don't know, yes, this is what is it has come to being a Lions fan.
Good thing this game is on early in the morning, otherwise nobody on this side of the pond would be paying attention. The Chiefs had a nice win last week against a Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers team, but hopes remain slim that this season can turn around in short order to make a run at a wild card berth. The outlook is even bleaker for a Lions team that may need a win just to be let back into their home country. Look for the Kansas City pass rush to tee off on quarterback Matthew Stafford and for the offense to put up just enough points to squeak out a victory in London.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Lions 19
— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and current writer for CollegeFootballGeek.com.