NFL Games to Return to London This Season, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson Set For International Debut

Published 05/12/2021, 2:45 PM EDT
Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Green Bay Packer fans cheer before the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The NFL announced their fixtures for the season earlier today. Along with the confirmation of an additional game for the regular season, fans learned of the NFL’s plans to return to conducting international games.

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With the exception of last season, international games became a tradition in NFL seasons. And this year, the NFL will be back on the global scene, conducting games in London.

The NFL announced two fixtures that will take place in London. The first will be between Zach Wilson and the New York Jets taking on Kyle Pitts, Matt Ryan, and the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5.

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Followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and their star quarterback Trevor Lawrence facing Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. Therefore, fans overseas will get a chance to witness some of the bright young stars in the league.

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Zack Wilson (BYU) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New York Jets as the number two overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the younger stars like Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, they will also get the experience of playing in international games for the future.

Many of the young stars on these teams could be future faces of the NFL. And for them to be able to get an opportunity to represent not only their teams, but the league, is a good litmus test for their abilities as potential faces of the league.

NFL continues to grow internationally

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However, just because they are playing overseas doesn’t mean these games become any less important for the franchises. These games still count for their regular season.

They just replace certain home games in the schedule based on where they’re being hosted. If anything, these games become more important because these players will have to play at the highest level to help further the global popularity of the league.

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Mac Jones (Alabama) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New England Patriots as the number 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has been growing internationally at a really fast pace. Given how well invested the sport has been, and the immense narratives that are present, that comes as no surprise.

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However, it still needs to work harder in increasing its presence across the rest of the world. The game is immensely popular but still doesn’t come close to matching the fanbase of soccer, the NBA, or even the UFC.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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