The NFL announced that four regular season games will be hosted in London in 2019. The times, dates and venues will be announced at a later date.
Fans can register their interest in tickets on the NFL website. This is worth doing for anyone that will consider buying tickets to the games as they sell out rapidly.
The NFL London games in 2019 include three playoff teams. The Los Angeles Rams, who face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, will be nominal host to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Rams bring star power galore in Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, while it will be fascinating to see the continued development of former number one overall pick, Jared Goff. The Bengals finished the season with a 1-7 run and need a big offseason to compete.
Houston Texans are the ‘road team’ to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan also owns Fulham Football Club and he has made no secret of his desire for Jacksonville to play more games over here. Khan tried to buy Wembley last year, but the deal fell through, meaning we are no closer to having a franchise in London.
The third playoff team, Chicago Bears, face Oakland Raiders in the Khalil Mack derby. The Bears overachieved in the 2018 campaign, but pressure will be on them when they head to London.
Who knows quite what the Raiders will be. Oakland have three first-round picks in the 2019 draft, including the fourth overall pick, as they look to rebuild after the Mack and Amari Cooper trades. They won just four games last season, the 2019 campaign might not be much better.
The fourth game is an NFC South matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay started last season brightly, but they finished the campaign with a 5-11 record. Carolina flirted with playoff contention, but they also dropped off to end on 7-9.
Only Carolina and Houston will be making their London debuts this year. Efe Obada gets a chance to play in the city that he grew up in. European NFL fans will see J.J. Watt, Newton, Luke Kuechly and DeAndre Hopkins in action on this side of the Atlantic for the first time.