Will there be more international NFL games in the future? In which countries?
The NFL’s debut game in Germany was a hit as the Buccaneers beat the Seahawks in Munich. Tom Brady passed for two TDs, but it was that fans stole the show.
Berlin is still buzzing, and so is the NFL after what was one of the most successful game we have ever seen played overseas. The Bucs beat the Seahawks 21-16, but Tampa Bay weren’t the only winners on Sunday.
Allianz Arena amped for NFL
The game set up for one of the matchups of Week 10, but even more than what happened “on the pitch” it was the fan interaction and the atmosphere that filled Allianz Arena that made the game special.
The fans were fantastic for all four quarters, singing classic songs like Take Me Home, Courty Roads and Sweet Caroline. People traveled from far and wide to take part in the first ever game in Germany and they were treated to a thrilling game as the NFL celebrated breaking ground in a new country.
Before this year, there had never been a game between two teams with a winning records played outside of the continental United States. That changed earlier this year when the Packers and the Giants played each other at Tottenham Stadium in early October.
Brady and Bucs make it two straight
The Bucs may have been under .500 going into last week’s matchup in Munich, but the storyline coming in could not have set up for a more intriguing contest. Seattle has been one of the surprises of the season. After losing their franchise quarterback Russell Wilson in the offseason, Geno Smith stepped into the starting role and led the Seahawks to six wins in their first nine.
The Bucs have been one of the disappointments of the year in a season in which Tom Brady unretired to make one last title run. It has looked like anything but a title run season for Tampa, but the Bucs snapped a three game losing skid the week before the Seahawks game, and went into Munich with a chance to move to the top of the NFC South.
The Bucs took a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter, but the Seahawks battled back to give themselves a chance at the end of the game. In the end the Bucs held on for the 21-16 win and moved to the top of their division despite what’s been considered a dismal first half of their season.
Cardinals vs Niners on Monday Night in Mexico
Sunday’s game was the fourth international showdown this season, and might have the most successful of this year and the entire international series since the NFL implemented the idea in 2007. The New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins kicked off the first regular season game outside of US borders fifteen years ago.
In the fifteen years of NFL games abroad, most have taken place in London, with Wembley Stadium playing host to 24 of the 33 games played in the United Kingdom. Mexico has hosted a handful of games, and is preparing for a Monday Night matchup between two NFC West teams in Week 11 as the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals go toe-to-to at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The Niners and the Cardinals game will be this season’s grand finale to the international series, but the NFL has plans to get even more expansive with their plans, especially after seeing how successful their debut in Germany was.
While there are no concrete dates or locations set for 2023, or farther down the road the NFL has plans to expand the international series to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Brazil’s Maracana Stadium has been discussed just as Australia and Canada have been pondered as potential hosts for NFL games in the future. The match in Munich will surely give the NFL the assurance they need to start planning these games in more countries than just England and Mexico.
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