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Broncos vs Jaguars at Wembley: 15 years of NFL games in London

Wembley Stadium hosts the NFL Week 8 game between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Wembley Stadium hosts the NFL Week 8 game between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Justin SetterfieldGetty

The Denver Broncos take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, just over 15 years to the day since the first NFL game was held in London.

The Broncos and the Jaguars, who each have a 2-5 record, face off in Week 8 of the 2022 regular season, with both franchises seeking to return to the Playoffs this year. Denver haven’t made the postseason since winning Super Bowl 50 in 2015, while Jacksonville haven’t progressed beyond the regular season since 2017.

Jaguars regulars in NFL London games

For the Broncos, Sunday’s clash will be the team’s second appearance in an NFL London game, following 2010′s 24-16 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers. The Jaguars, meanwhile, will be appearing in the British capital for the ninth time. The franchise have played in the city in every NFL season since 2013, except for the covid-hit 2020 campaign.

Earlier in 2022, the Jaguars agreed a three-year deal with Wembley that will see the team play one regular-season home game at the venue through 2024.

Giants beat Dolphins in first NFL game in UK

The maiden NFL fixture in London, on 28 October 2007, was the first time the league had held a regular-season game anywhere outside North America. The New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in front of just under 82,000 fans at Wembley, an Eli Manning touchdown settling the encounter.

That season, the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl, securing the third of their four NFL championships with a 17-14 victory over the New England Patriots.

After that inaugural London game, the city hosted one more in each of the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, before gradually expanding to four by 2017. In the seasons since, it has always hosted at least two - with the exception of 2020 - and in 2022 is the venue for three regular-season matchups.

In addition to Wembley, games have also been held at two other London arenas: Twickenham Stadium in 2016 and 2017, and, since 2019, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Home to Premier League soccer club Tottenham, the latter venue was the stage for the two games played in the UK already in 2022. The Minnesota Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints there on 2 October, before the Giants saw off the Green Bay Packers a week later.

Games in Mexico, Germany

In total, there have been 32 NFL games in London: 23 at Wembley, three at Twickenham and six at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

NFL International Series games have also been played in Mexico since 2016 - at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca - and the Seattle Seahawks are due to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, in November.

NFL planning worldwide expansion

Plans are also in place to take NFL regular-season games to a number of other countries. In December, the league announced that 18 teams had been allocated to ‘marketing areas’ not only spanning the UK, Germany and Mexico, but also Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and Spain.

Franchises will have access to “marketing, fan engagement and commercialization” in the countries allocated to them, the NFL said, adding: “The League will use its best efforts to ensure clubs play their international games in their International HMAs [Home Marketing Areas]”.

“All 32 clubs will play at least one international game in the next eight seasons,” the NFL also stated.