2024 NFL London and Munich Games: What to Expect

2024 NFL London and Munich Games: What to Expect

With the clock ticking down to the 2024 schedule release tonight, millions of fans across the globe tuned in as Good Morning Football officially announced the London and Munich matchups for this year.

As UK and Germany-based fans begin saving for tickets to their choice of four games across the two countries, Decyfr delves into what those hoping to be in attendance can expect from each contest.

New York Jets @ Minnesota Vikings – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – October 6th

In 29 career regular season games against the Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers has accrued a staggering touchdown to interception ratio of 57:8 – on his way to 17 victories with the Green Bay Packers. Now the face of the New York Jets, and fresh off a season-ending Achilles tear in 2023, Rodgers will have an almighty task on his hands if he hopes to continue his dominance over the Vikings when they face-off in London later this year.

With an elite left tackle in Christian Darrisaw, explosive new running back Aaron Jones and an exciting rookie signal-caller in J.J. McCarthy, head coach Kevin O’Connell has all the tools offensively to overwhelm the Jets. Not to mention a receiving duo in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison that combined for 1985 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, despite Jefferson missing 7 games. Furthermore, Minnesota’s defense – which ranked 13th in the NFL with only 21.3 points allowed per game in 2023 – has seen numerous upgrades this offseason, including Dallas Turner, Jonathan Greenard and Shaquill Griffin.

That said, defensively the New York Jets undeniably have the edge. As per FOX Sports, New York boasted the third best defense in the NFL last season, despite their increased playing time thanks to a historically inefficient offense, which ranked 31st in the league. With the addition of star edge rusher Haason Reddick, the Jets defensive line will prove an almighty opponent for McCarthy as he aims to extend Minnesota’s unbeaten record in London.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Chicago Bears – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – October 13th

Despite not yet fulfilling his potential in the league, 2021 number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence has still managed to record back-to-back 4000-yard passing seasons alongside a Pro Bowl selection in 2022. Following a gut-wrenching decline in performances in the latter half of the 2023 season, Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to light up their British fan base on October 13th – but standing in their way, is 2024 number one overall pick, Caleb Williams.

Heralded as one of the greatest quarterback prospects of all time, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner finished his college career with a remarkable nine single-season records at USC – including most yards of total offense. Despite a dearth of star receivers at his disposal, with the exception of Jordan Addison, who was subsequently drafted in the first round by the Vikings. As he prepares to take the reins of a Chicago Bears team littered with offensive playmakers – thanks to bona fide superstar Keenan Allen, 2023 Pro Bowler D’Andre Swift and ninth-overall pick Rome Odunze joining the team this offseason – the damage that Williams can inflict upon the Jaguars defense is frightening.

In spite of their late-season collapse, Jacksonville finished 2023 inside the top 10 for passing yards per game – a feat they can expect to replicate thanks to the addition of receivers Brian Thomas Jr. and Gabe Davis this offseason. Furthermore, with running back Travis Etienne Jr. being one of only two running backs to accrue more than 1400 scrimmage yards in each of the last two seasons – the offense should be able to keep up with that of the Bears on October 13th.

New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Wembley Stadium – October 20th

The Bill Belichick era in New England is well-and-truly over, and with a new dawn comes the Patriots’ first trip to Wembley Stadium since 2012, where they overwhelmed the then-St. Louis Rams 45-7. This time, however, head coach Jerod Mayo and company will face a team well acquainted with the UK as the Jacksonville Jaguars head into their second-straight season with back-to-back London Games.

Headlined by third-overall pick, QB Drake Maye, Jerod Mayo ensured that this offseason would kick-start a new wave of football in New England – selecting offensive players with their first five picks in the 2024 NFL Draft – to fix an offense that ranked 30th in 2023. On the other side of the ball, New England’s defense will look to take their elite performance from last season to another level – thanks to the return of four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Matthew Judon and sophomore sensation Christian Gonzalez. With the Patriots having conceded only 19 touchdowns in 2023, it’s imperative the Jaguars defense contains New England’s offense.

In order to do so, however, the Jaguars newly-reinforced defense will have their work cut out – having ranked 22nd overall in 2023. New defensive tackle Arik Armstead – who headlines the Jaguars’ recent additions defensively – recorded 33.5 sacks during his time with the San Francisco 49ers. Now partnered with linebacker Josh Allen, who recently signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $150 million, Armstead is set to play a key role in drastically improving Jacksonville’s defensive line – as they take to the field under the iconic Wembley arch for the 10th time in 11 years.

New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers – Allianz Arena – November 10th

In the one-and-only NFL Germany Game in 2024, last year’s first-overall pick Bryce Young, looks to prove to Panthers fans around the world that his poor showing in his rookie season was not a true reflection of his ability – as he takes on a New York Giants team that boasts one of the NFL’s most imposing defensive lines.

Expected Points Added per play (EPA/per play) is a highly-efficient method for measuring an individual player’s influence on a single play within the NFL. In 2023, Bryce Young was the second-lowest ranking quarterback in this category, behind only Zach Wilson – a statistic that perfectly exemplifies Young’s early struggles. Having said that, on multiple occasions last season, Young showed flashes of the top-tier talent that saw him finish his college career with nearly 8,500 passing yards and 80 touchdowns. Now with Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette joining Adam Thielen in Carolina, Young will have a host of weapons at his disposal, as he aims to dismantle the New York Giants in Munich.

The Giants defense won’t go down without a fight, however. In one of this offseason’s blockbuster moves, the G-Men traded for Panthers superstar linebacker Brian Burns – pairing him with two-time All-Pro Dexter Lawrence II and 2022 fifth-overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, to form a trio set to overwhelm offensive lines around the league. As Burns focuses on taking down his former teammates at the Allianz Area, he can rest assured the offensive side of the ball will see a stark improvement for the Giants compared to last season. Coming out of a year that saw the Giants rank 29th in total offense, they were in desperate need of firepower – particularly with the loss of Saquon Barkley to NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. Fortunately for Giants fans, the team gained exactly that when they selected first-team All-American receiver, Malik Nabers – who immediately steps in as WR1, ready to dominate.

With less than four months until the start of the 2024 International Games, as the Philadelphia Eagles line up against the Green Bay Packers in Brazil on September 6th, which overseas match-up are you most looking forward to?

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