Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will play their first overseas regular season game against the New York Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 9.
The week before, the New Orleans Saints will nominally host the Minnesota Vikings in north London, with the Jacksonville Jaguars – competing in their ninth game in London, and eighth at Wembley – against the Denver Broncos on October 30.
German fans are in for a treat too. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Seattle Seahawks at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on November 13.
NFL will return to London this October, with Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosting two games
Green Bay Packers – led by Aaron Rodgers (R) will make their London debut against the Giants
The slate sees the total games in London rise from last season’s two as the NFL pushes its overseas programme. After revealing a new deal which will see every team play overseas until 2028, the NFL appears determined to showcase some of its biggest names, for this season at least.
Few are bigger than the Packers, the NFL’s most storied franchise. Formed in 1919 and situated in Wisconsin, the Green and Gold draw from a large fan base across America and Europe. Demand for the game will be high.
Before the AFL-NFL merger in 1967, the Packers won 11 national championships. Since then, they have won four Super Bowls.
It will give fans the chance to see the great Rodgers playing live. One of the NFL’s more divisive figures – he claimed to be ‘immunised’ against Covid before revealing he was not vaccinated – what cannot be disputed is his ability on the field.
Green Bay have won the NFC North for the past three seasons, but for all their regular season success their continued failure in the play-offs is a mark against 2011 Super Bowl champion Rodgers.
The New York Giants are a team in transition after 22 wins in their last five seasons
Tottenham signed a huge deal with the NFL to stage games at their new stadium in 2015
FULL NFL SCHEDULE
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
October 2, 2:30pm
New York Giants v Green Bay Packers
October 9, 2:30pm
Denver Broncos v Jacksonville Jaguars
Wembley Stadium October 30, 1:30pm
ALLIANZ ARENA, GERMANY
Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
November 13, 2.30pm
The Packers’ opponents remain a team in transition. The Giants have won just 22 games in their last five seasons. It is a far cry from their heyday in the mid-Eighties, with icons such as Lawrence Taylor wreaking havoc in Bill Belichick’s defence – and the team which won two Super Bowls against Belichick’s New England Patriots in the 2008 and 2012.
The Vikings and Saints have forged an unlikely rivalry. The teams met in the 2009 NFC Championship game, won by New Orleans in controversial fashion.
It is a defeat which still rankles with Vikings fans as the Saints – who went on to win a tainted Super Bowl – committed some disgraceful and unpunished hits on then Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
Following their Super Bowl win, head coach Sean Payton was banned for an entire season for his role in overseeing the Bountygate scandal, which saw Saints players receiving money for injuring opposition players.
Eight seasons later – and after beating the Cleveland Browns at Twickenham in October – Minnesota gained a semblance of schadenfreude in another dramatic playoff game between the sides. After racing into a 17-0 half-time lead, the Vikings were down 24-23 with ten seconds remaining in overtime.
Needing a miracle, it came in the shape of Stefon Diggs. The wide receiver caught quarterback Case Keenum’s lofted pass, dodged Marcus Williams’ attempt at a tackle and sprinted for a 61-yard touchdown.
Two seasons later, the teams met again the playoffs with the underdog Vikings sealing an unexpected 26-20 overtime win in New Orleans.
In the regular season, the Saints have won five of the teams’ last six meetings.
The Jaguars need little introduction. They have played in eight of the 33 games played in London since 2007.
The Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints – who have forged an unlikely rivalry – will also meet in north London
The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Miami Dolphins at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year
This season Fulham owner Shahid Khan has returned the franchise to Wembley after the Jags played at the NFL’s purpose built home at Tottenham.
Perpetually a team in crisis – aside from a run to the AFC Championship game in the 2017 season – the Jaguars hit the headlines for the misadventures of head coach Urban Meyer last year.
He won his first game at Tottenham but replacement Doug Pederson comes from an altogether more stable stock.
Pederson was in charge when the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in the 2017 season and the Jags chose Travon Walker with their second straight No 1 overall pick in the draft, after selecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence last year.
They play AFC powerhouse Denver, who have been in a fallow patch since winning Super Bowl 50. But with Russell Wilson at quarterback, perhaps they have finally solved their conundrum in the NFL’s most important position.
The Denver Broncos – boosted by Russell Wilson at quarter-back – will play against the Jaguars
Yet head coach Nathaniel Hackett will have to negotiate a trip to London in his first season, which can be a curve ball.
The incomparable Brady will have the chance for another record. The seven-time Super Bowl champion can become the first quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in Germany with the Bucs heading to Munich.
Germany has long coveted an NFL game and with huge support in Germany – not to mentioning neighbouring Denmark – Brady can expect a feverish atmosphere in the home of Bayern Munich.
Since winning the Super Bowl in the 2020 season, his first as a Buc, Tampa Bay have weathered a retirement storm – Brady quit for almost 40 days earlier this year – and changed head coach. Bruce Arians has moved to the front office with former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles replacing him at the helm.
Wembley Stadium will host the clash between Bronvos and Jaguars, with the other two games set to be played in Tottenham
The Bucs are exciting team with huge talents like receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette on offense. Alongside the LA Rams and Green Bay they look like early contenders in a weak NFC.
But playing Seattle – who are having a turbulent time of late – on a neutral site means there is always the potential for an upset.
Munich and Frankfurt were chosen to stage regular-season games in Germany over the next four years.
The NFL will also return to Mexico City in the 2022 season, with details to follow shortly.
The full 2022 NFL schedule will be released on NFL Network, and the NFL app on Friday, May 13 at 1am BST.