The NFL International Series has been happening since 2007 but it really took off in 2016. That was the year that the series was divided into two sets of games – the London series and the Mexico series. Earlier this year, the NFL expanded the series to include games in Germany, on a four-year-long trial period.
Hype has been building around the series since the addition of the games in Mexico but then the Covid-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the careful plans that the NFL bosses had laid. Two games were played in London in 2021 but they happened without much fanfare or media buildup.
There had been some initial doubt over whether there would be an audience for football at all in the United Kingdom. The UK already has rugby and soccer, which are both hugely popular sports that draw large audiences in person and watching televised games.
One thing that football and soccer do have in common, though, is that they are both incredibly popular betting sports. The Super Bowl is the most bet on sporting event in the US, and the EPL attracts hordes of bettors for every game. This has to have made football more appealing to British sports fans.
With sportsbooks moving online, it has become even easier to place bets on any sport, no matter where it’s taking place. Now it’s easy for Brits to bet on NFL games and for Americans to bet on games in the NFL International Series. Many online sportsbooks offer perks like free bets or deposit matching too.
Whether you’re betting on the games or not, it’s fun to see fans from other countries getting hyped up by one of America’s favorite sports. There are five games in the 2022 NFL International Series – we’re going to go through each game and decide which looks likely to gather the most hype.
October is going to be football season in London. The United Kingdom has shown that they are ready for some football so things might get pretty hyped up. There will be three games – two played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and one at Wembley Stadium.
On October 2, the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints will play at Tottenham. On October 9, Tottenham will host the Green Bay Packers playing the New York Giants. The final game at Wembley will be on October 30 and will see the Denver Broncos up against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It seems like a safe bet that the two games at Tottenham are going to be the most hyped games of the International Series. New Orleans and New York are both hot destinations for British tourists – so there will be some familiarity with both the teams. The Saints also are known for their dedicated fans.
The Green Bay Packers are one of the best-known teams around the world because of their long history and devoted fans. This will also be the Packers first international game. All these factors will combine to make this possibly the biggest game of the series.
There is another reason why the Packers may have more British fans than other NFL teams. If you’ve ever watched any games of the Six Nations tournament, you’ll know that British sports fans love a silly hat. There is a natural affection, then, for the Cheeseheads.
Games at Wembley will always draw a crowd so it is likely there will still be good attendance figures for the game. There just might not be quite as much natural excitement.
One thing we can say for sure is that the Mexico game is going to be the least-hyped game of the series. It has nothing to do with the teams or the fans or where it’s being played, and everything to do with the date it is being played on. November 21 is also the day that the 2022 FIFA World Cup starts in Qatar.
Mexico might be starting to like football but Mexico loves soccer. Soccer is in fact the most popular sport in the country. There is no way that an NFL match will be able to compete with the opening two games of the World Cup.
Due to time zones, the games probably won’t overlap but it still seems unlikely that the game will get much attention. This is mostly because the majority of sporting news coverage in the days leading up to November 21 will be about the World Cup, and the NFL game will be largely overlooked.
For those who are interested, the game will be between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. It will be held at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Hopefully, having teams playing from states that border Mexico will attract some more fans.
On November 13, the Seattle Seahawks will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Allianz Arena in Munich. This will be the first of the NFL International Series games held in Germany. That alone could draw in fans who are intrigued with the novelty of it or are attracted by the experience of attending the very first game.
Neither of these teams have quite the same power to inspire devotion and excitement that teams like the Green Bay Packers do. Similarly, neither team has the international name recognition of teams such as the New England Patriots or the New York Giants.
This game does, however, have the potential to be interesting. The Seahawks haven’t been at the top of their game the last few years and now they’ve lost quarterback Russell Wilson. This could throw them, or it could be just the kick that the team needs to find some of that spirit that won them the Super Bowl in 2013.
Considering that the Buccaneers are now viewed as one of the best teams in the league, even a reinvigorated Seahawks team might not have a chance. Watching the Buccaneers play, even if the match isn’t super hyped up, should still be an exciting time.
Our conclusion is that the London games at Tottenham and the game in Munich are likely to be the most hyped up this year. Unfortunately, whoever scheduled the game in Mexico City really should have considered their competition before picking a date.