The National Football League is becoming the Global Football League and has enjoyed worldwide appeal for some time. The history of games being played overseas dates back to a 1983 preseason contest between the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Cardinals at England’s famed Wembley Stadium.
In 2005, the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers squared off in Mexico City in what was the first regular season game to be played outside of the U.S. And regular season games have continued to be played in foreign countries every year since 2007 in what’s billed as the NFL International Series. That continues in 2022, with five regular season games slated to be played on foreign soil. Below is a look at the who, when, and where for all five NFL games being played outside of the United States in 2022.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
When: Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London
The 2022 International Series kicks off with an NFC matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 2. The game will be played in London at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home of the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur professional soccer franchise.
The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. London time, which means 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time for U.S. fans, and can be seen on the NFL Network.
London has been the NFL’s favorite international destination, having played host to 30 of the 40 regular season games played outside of the U.S. And while Wembley Stadium has hosted the majority of the games in London, Tottenham Hotspur has hosted four of the previous six games in London.
The game will feature two rookie head coaches — the Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell and the Saints’ Dennis Allen. London fans will be treated to two of the rising stars in the NFL in Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Justin Jefferson to go along with veteran star wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Both teams are 2-0 in International Series play, with each team’s most recent international game occurring in 2017.
New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
When: Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK
If you miss the first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, don’t worry. You’ll only have to wait one week for the next game. The New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers will meet on the very same field on Oct. 9, just seven days after the game between the Vikings and Saints. This game will also start at 9:30 a.m. EST and be broadcast on the NFL Network.
One unique thing about this game is that the Green Bay Packers will become the last team in the NFL to play a regular season game outside of the U.S. Meanwhile, the Giants lay claim to the very first regular season victory in London in a 13-10 win over the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in 2007 and are 2-0 in International Series play.
The Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL and are led by reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Giants are headlined by star running back Saquon Barkley.
Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
When: Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST
Where: Wembley Stadium in London, UK
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the unofficial face of the NFL International Series. They’ve played one game in London in every season since 2013 (except in 2020 when no international games were played) and are scheduled to continue that trend through at least 2024. The Jaguars’ heavy presence in London has much to do with the fact that team owner Shad Khan also owns the Fulham FC professional soccer team there.
After a one-year hiatus in 2021 to play in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Jaguars return to Wembley Stadium for the Oct. 30, 2022 game, which has been the site of all other Jaguars games in London. The matchup against the Denver Broncos kicks off at 9:30 a.m. EST and can be seen with an ESPN+ subscription.
While the Jaguars have plenty of experience playing internationally, the Broncos played just one International Series game back in 2010. In fact, aside from the Packers having never played a regular season international game, the Broncos are the team that has gone the longest without doing so.
This game will pit two popular quarterbacks against one another in Broncos veteran Russell Wilson and Jaguars up-and-comer Trevor Lawrence.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST
Where: Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany
Up until now, the NFL’s regular season games played on international soil have been limited to Canada, England, and Mexico. That all changes in 2022 when the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Nov. 13 in Munich, Germany. The game will be played at Allianz Arena, home to the FC Bayern soccer franchise. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EST on the NFL Network.
Five NFL preseason games have been played in Germany, all of which took place in Berlin. This game will mark the first NFL game in Munich and the first NFL regular season game in Germany.
The NFL International Series will penetrate a new country with the help of Buccaneers superstar quarterback Tom Brady, who in 2017 became the first NFL quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in three different countries — U.S., Mexico, and England — when he led the New England Patriots to a 33-8 win over the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. In 2022, Brady will have an opportunity to add a fourth country to that list.
The Seahawks were victorious in their only International Series game in 2018, while the Buccaneers are 0-3 in the series.
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
When: Monday, November 21, 2022 at 8:15 PM EST
Where: Estadio Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico
The final international game of 2022 might be the most intriguing one as the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers both made the playoffs in 2021 and both play in the same division. The game is being played in the same Mexico City stadium that was the site of the second-largest crowd for an NFL regular season game in history and will be the only 2022 International Series game played in primetime in the U.S. and on an ESPN broadcast.
The game is set for Nov. 21 with an 8:15 p.m. EST kickoff.
This game also presents a rematch of the very first NFL regular season game to be played outside the U.S. It was the Cardinals and the 49ers who met on this very same field on Oct. 2, 2005, when Arizona defeated San Francisco 31-14 in front of 103,467 fans. The only NFL games to draw more fans were a 2009 regular season game in Dallas between the Cowboys and Giants (105,121) and Super Bowl XIV in 1980 in Los Angeles between the hometown Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cardinals lost their only other international regular season game back in 2017 while the 49ers have their two other International Series games but have not participated since 2013.
The game will also feature two of the most exciting players in the NFL in Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
NFL International Series History
The NFL has played a total of 92 preseason and regular season games across 16 cities and nine countries on international soil. While matchups between AFL (American Football League) and CFL (Canadian Football League) teams date back to 1926, the first international game involving two NFL teams was on Aug. 15, 1960, when the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 16-10 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.
Of the 40 regular season games to be played in foreign countries, 30 have been in London, six have been in Toronto, and four have been in Mexico City. Other countries to host preseason or exhibition games include Spain, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Japan, and Australia.
Here are some facts about the 40 international regular season NFL games of the past:
- The Jacksonville Jaguars have played in the most regular season international games, having done so eight times. The Miami Dolphins and the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders have each played five such games.
- The Jaguars have the most wins with four and are tied with the Dolphins (1-4) for the most losses with four.
- The New England Patriots are 3-0 in international games and the only team with at least three appearances to remain undefeated. The 49ers, Giants, Vikings, and Chiefs are each 2-0.
- The Buccaneers are 0-3 and the only team with at least three appearances that has yet to win a game.
While some U.S. fans are sure to make the trip to see their favorite team play abroad, many more residents of foreign countries will be getting their first taste of live NFL football when the 2022 International Series gets underway. Luckily for these fans, Fanatics ships officially licensed sports apparel to more than 30 countries, including each of the ones hosting NFL games in 2022.
And international sports fans don’t have to be content with only NFL merchandise. Fanatics is your source for memorabilia and sports collectibles for all leagues and sports. Shop for your team gear today and help spread the word around the globe.