With the imminent announcement of the International Series teams, there are a few dream matchups which would sell tickets faster than ever before. This year’s International series was as well attended as ever, but with a game at Twickenham to come next year in addition to at least two Wembley games to which we have become accustomed, the game is set to grow even further. The Jacksonville Jaguars will be returning to London once more, but who will be joining them? First off, it’s unlikely that teams with sustained success will be coming to London as the home team. We don’t expect to see the likes of the Patriots or Packers giving up a home game, nor will teams with deals linked to their stadium, so the Browns and Vikings aren’t going to be hosting any of the games either.
New England @ Miami
It seems possible that the Dolphins will have seen the reception London gave them, and want to give London a better game than this time around. Their game with the Jets was the first divisional game to be played in the International Series, and ended in a blowout. The Patriots are always a draw wherever they go, and so the NFL could see potential for record revenues with this matchup.
Jacksonville @ San Diego
With all the relocation rumours surrounding the San Diego Chargers, the franchise may be happy to get away from Southern California for a home game in Wembley. Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jaguars, will be loving the growth of the team in Europe and the additional exposure, and may push to play as the away team in the inaugural Twickenham match, cementing their place as a local team over 4000 miles from home.
Green Bay @ Jacksonville
The Jaguars play the NFC North next year, and the only team from that division not to play in London so far are the Packers. That fact aside, it would be great to see Aaron Rodgers take the field in an International Series game, and huge numbers of Packer fans would love the chance to see him in person. The Jaguars have also made vast improvements over the past couple of years which means that Green Bay could be in for a close game.
Oakland @ Tampa Bay
Two of the most exciting young teams in the league facing off against one another, especially with Derek Carr and Jameis Winston at quarterback, is a salivating prospect. Winston and Oakland’s Amari Cooper have shown themselves to be two of the hits from the 2015 draft, and would give the fans a chance to see players who should have a big impact in the league for years to come. Giving up a home game would also let the Bucs grow their presence in the international market and may prove too good an opportunity to pass up.
Denver @ New Orleans
Whilst this may not be a duel between Manning and Brees, Osweiler might be worth watching. Two of the biggest franchises in recent NFL history, on one of its most unique stages, would make a lot of sense. The question is whether New Orleans would be willing to give up a home game, although the Superdome is much less of a fortress now. Both teams have a decent following amongst British fans and would certainly provide a draw.
Cincinnatti @ New York Giants
Andy Dalton vs. Eli Manning. Odell Beckham Junior vs. AJ Green. A great matchup between teams who are both looking to reach the playoffs this year that ought to prove an offensive shootout and give a great afternoon’s entertainment to the fans in attendance, and watching on TV around the world, making games like this more possible due to increased interest from broadcasters.
Minnesota @ Philadelphia
Teddy Bridgewater, Stefon Diggs and Adrian Peterson, as well as a formidable defense will prove intriguing to watch. The NFL would love to have this game on the bill, with Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense a possible counter to the hard hitting secondary the Vikings would bring.
Carolina @ St. Louis
The Panthers are currently undefeated this year, and St. Louis have spent the last couple of years looking like they’re about to be scary. Who wouldn’t love to see Aaron Donald bearing down on Cam Newton? Luke Kuechly hunting down Todd Gurley? A potentially great matchup for the Rams who have a habit of playing spoiler in games they have no right to win, and a chance to see one of the best loved players in the league in London.
Seattle @ New York Jets
Two of the league’s best cornerbacks, a pair of excellent wide receivers, and one of the most popular NFL teams would make for an excellent International Series game. The amount of Seahawks jerseys on show at any given Wembley game in recent years says that this would be popular, and the Jets certainly travel well too. The game itself would likely prove a defensive battle and is different to the rest of the list in this respect, but the entertainment value of Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis, Russell Wilson and Brandon Marshall should be an engaging and exciting afternoon.