Image courtesy of @NFLDeutschland
On Thursday morning, the NFL announced that the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Patriots will play games overseas next season.
The Patriots and Chiefs are scheduled to “host” home games in Germany and even though they play each other this year, they will not be playing in these games. Buffalo, Tennessee and Jacksonville are slated to play games in London, all as part of the NFL’s International Home Marketing Area initiative. The Jaguars have a multi-year commitment to play at Wembley Stadium and this will be the second time the Bills and Titans have played games in London.
The Patriots are scheduled to have nine home games next season, but this counts as one, so there will still be eight games at the new-look Gillette Stadium. Buffalo, New York (Jets), Miami, Los Angeles (Chargers), Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans and Pittsburgh will all be in Foxborough in 2023.
While you’ve got to think the NFL wanted a Pats-Chiefs showdown, the Krafts almost certainly did everything in their power to make sure that didn’t happen. Not only is that a massive, potential primetime game for the business side of things, if I’m a New England season ticket holder I’d be furious if that matchup, potentially with seeding on the line (assuming the Pats are back in contention) isn’t at home. Gillette Stadium may not be all that great or loud when it comes to “home field advantage” but you take it whenever you can get it against an all-time team like Kansas City. Both are now “hosting” home games in Germany, but you have to wonder if that was the NFL’s original plan all along.
This will be the first international game in six years for the Patriots and hopefully, there will be a new-look offense and a rejuvenated defense to show off to an entirely different fan base.