Three Things to Look Out For in the 2023 NFL London Games

Three Things to Look Out For in the 2023 NFL London Games

The NFL London Games return this year when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 1. Jacksonville play in London again the following Sunday, when they take on the Buffalo Bills at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 8. The final game sees the Tennessee Titans face off against the Baltimore Ravens, again at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, on October 15.

So with these exciting matchups on the horizon, here are three things to look out for in the 2023 NFL London Games. 

1 – The Bills Mafia in London 

The Buffalo Bills will return to London for the first time since 2015 this year, and are aiming to become just the second team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl after playing in London that season.

Not only will the Bills bring superstar quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but they’ll also bring one of the NFL’s most passionate fanbases – the Bills Mafia.

“The reason they call it ‘Mafia’ is because it’s a huge family,” said Will Bradley, owner of Fans of Buffalo, a sports travel company for Buffalo Bills fans. 

“Expect some crazy Bills fans that are probably some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – [but] once you get in a game, it gets pretty loud if you’re sitting next to them.”

The Bills Mafia are famous for their fanatical devotion to their team and their unique pre-game antics – which have included jumping through folding tables and covering each other in ketchup and mustard.

“At the moment we have 600 people signed up. We have space for close to 1,000 when said and done, and I could easily see us hitting that,” said Bradley, speaking about the number of Bills fans heading to London.

“It’s going to be a crazy time out there.”

2 – Lamar Jackson’s London Games Debut and OBJ’s Return to the UK

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was one of the most talked about players this offseason.

He publicly announced he requested a trade from the team before signing a five-year, $260 million contract extension that made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, will bring his explosive and exciting style of play to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against the Tennessee Titans, and attempt to treat UK fans to one of the best individual performances of the season.

Jackson and the Ravens will be joined by their new wide receiver, and one of the most famous faces in American sports, Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham Jr. last played in London in 2016 with the New York Giants, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 at Twickenham, when he was a bona fide superstar – and although he’s struggled with injuries since then, OBJ’s sure to bring his trademark swagger to the UK as one of the games’ main attractions.

Baltimore are another team making their second-ever appearance in London this year – their first was a 44-7 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017 – and hope their star quarterback, and new-look offense, will lead them to a victory.

3 – The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Two Games in London

The Jacksonville Jaguars are making NFL history this year, as they’ll become the first team to play two regular season games outside of the US in the same season.

Their London Games begin against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley, then the Jaguars take on the Buffalo Bills at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a week later. 

“We are delighted to be the first team to ever play back-to-back games in London, which is fitting as the Jaguars are very much the UK’s team,” said the Jaguars’ VP of UK Operations, Maria Gigante.

Recently, numerous NFL teams playing in London have opted for shorter stays in order to avoid jetlag, but, thanks to their back-to-back games, this will be impossible for the Jaguars.

So how will they cope?

Well, Jacksonville will likely choose to arrive in London three days before the Falcons game, just as they’ve done in previous trips to the UK, which would allow them plenty of time to adjust before facing Buffalo – hopefully giving them the advantage they need to win.

Both the Jaguars and Bills are expecting to return to the playoffs this season, so a victory for either team could have huge playoff implications later in the year. 

Everything points towards three incredible games in London.

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