This afternoon we saw the NFL announce the 2022 NFL International Series Matchups, having previously announced the home teams in February.
It was revealed at the time that the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers will host games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Autumn, whilst the Jacksonville Jaguars will return to their UK home of Wembley Stadium. On top of those three London games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the first-ever NFL game in Germany at Allianz Arena, the home of FC Bayern Munich, whilst the Arizona Cardinals will play in Mexico City.
Today, it was confirmed that the Saints will host their fellow NFC team Minnesota Vikings on October 2nd, which is Week 4 of the NFL season, to kick off the International Series. Both teams last played in London in 2017.
A week later the Packers will play the home team at Spurs, against the New York Giants. This will see the Packers become the 32nd and last team to have played a regular-season game in London, completing a full circle as the G-men played in the very first game at Wembley back in 2007. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 2:30PM BST, 9:30AM ET.
Week 8 sees the London portion of the International Series come to a close as the Jags host their own regular-season game at Wembley. Their opponent will be the Denver Broncos, with the game being played on October 30th, at 1:30PM GMT, 9:30AM ET, due to the clocks going back in the UK. This game will be the first-ever to be exclusive to ESPN+ in the States.
The Munich one looks to be quite an occasion as the Bucs play host to the Seattle Seahawks, who are Russell Wilson-less, but one of the most supported teams in Germany. That game will take place on Week 12 of the NFL season at 3:30PM CET, 9:30AM ET
Mexico City will play host to an NFC West matchup on Monday Night Football. Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers will be the team to face the Cardinals on MNF in Week 13, 8:15PM ET.
Each of these games has a selling point. Whether it’s seeing the reigning back to back MVP winner Aaron Rodgers play outside of the US for the first time, or a chance to see Russell Wilson suit up with his new Denver Broncos teammates. Whether it’s a chance to see some of the best players in Football from the Saints and Vikings, Tom Brady in the flesh, or a crucial game in the NFC West late in the season. There’s something in every single game. I for one am going to try to get to as many of the European ones as possible.
Germany’s game is massive. A chance to go big in a new market, one that certainly population-wise is bigger than in the UK, has a rich football history, and one with very passionate fans. I feel like that game is really the start of something.
Last season’s expansion to a 17 game regular season allowed for more varied matchups in the International Series. Each season the conference with the ninth home game will rotate. The half of the league that has the extra home game can be given an international home game instead (up to 4 teams at a time.) For fairness, those teams will rotate too, meaning that each team will host an international game every eight seasons.
This year is the turn of the NFC, which has allowed the Packers to give up a home game to play in London. Before this season, that would not have been possible. Those tickets are like gold dust in Wisconsin, and teams didn’t want to give up their Packers home game either because of the sheer size of the franchise, its fan base and superstar talent. They sell tickets wherever they play. You’ve got to give the league a pat on the back for finding a way to make it happen.
Ticket information for all the games will follow soon, so keep an eye out on all NFL channels. You can register your interest for the ones at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium here. The Jaguars are in charge of tickets for their home game, you can register your interest for that game here.