Kick-off time set for Atlanta Falcons 2014 game in London against Detroit Lions


Oct 26, 2013; London, United Kingdom; General view of a NFL shield logo.

As if it wasn’t unusual enough for the Atlanta Falcons to be playing a regular season “home” game in London, England, the circumstances surrounding the tilt against the Detroit Lions became even more odd on Wednesday.

Yes, you are reading that Tweet from the Falcons correctly. The London game will begin at 9:30 am ET which, in Atlanta, translates to the time when people are settling in for Sunday school class.

On the surface, it’s pretty jarring to consider a live NFL game taking place on Sunday morning east coast time, but this is clearly a move to integrate London into a more “normal” NFL culture. Every game that has taken place overseas has been a night-time kick-off to accommodate American TV, and I perceive this as a bone thrown to a fan base that the league is clearly (and repeatedly) targeting.

The biggest challenge for the Falcons is losing a home game (which we already knew), and really, the kick-off time won’t affect things for the team itself. However, it’ll be very, very interesting what kind of TV ratings and interest this game can generate while a large part of its fan base is in church, and it throws another wrinkle into an already intriguing event.