The NFL has confirmed the teams playing in the three regular season games in London in 2015 with back-to-back contests featuring at Wembley Stadium for the first time.
2015 Wembley Games
Week 4 Sunday October 4 Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Week 7 Sunday October 25 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 8 Sunday November 1 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions
The line-up for next season includes three teams who will have played at Wembley Stadium this season – the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins.
The first contest in 2015 – which will be the 12th to be played in the International Series – will see the Miami Dolphins play host to their fierce AFC East rivals in the New York Jets in Week 4 action on Sunday October 4.
The Dolphins played in London at the end of September this year, romping to a 38-14 win over the Oakland Raiders. They also played in the inaugural International Series game in 2007, losing to the New York Giants. Miami have won their last three games and are among a large pack of teams currently chasing an AFC playoff berth.
The Jets have long held a desire to be involved in the International Series, as team owner Woody Johnson told me this summer:
“I am firmly behind it. As a visiting team, I would really like to do it and I have expressed that to the league. I wouldn’t be surprised if we would be in London shortly.”
The second game will take place in Week 7 on Sunday October 25 and will pit the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Buffalo Bills.
Jacksonville are playing a home game in the UK each season through 2016 and will take on the Dallas Cowboys at Wembley Stadium this Sunday. With a new franchise quarterback in place in the form of Blake Bortles, the Jaguars are becoming increasingly competitive and exciting to watch.
The Bills – led by current head coach and former London Monarchs offensive lineman Doug Marrone – have been one of the feel-good stories of the 2014 campaign. Buffalo currently have five wins on the season and are very much in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
Just one week after the Jacksonville-Buffalo clash, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Detroit Lions in Week 8 on Sunday November 1.
The Chiefs – led by offensive stars such as quarterback Alex Smith and running back Jamaal Charles – made the playoffs last year and are chasing a post-season berth in 2014 having won five of their last six contests.
The Lions are making a welcome return to the UK after providing plenty of excitement in their 22-21 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. British NFL fans will be hoping to see more of Detroit’s big-name stars in 2015 as wide receiver Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson and running back Reggie Bush were sidelined through injury this year.
The game times will be announced at a later date, but two contests will take place on consecutive Sundays, giving fans in London the chance to see NFL action in back-to-back weeks for the first time.
“We are very appreciative of the outstanding support from our fans in the UK, not only for the games at Wembley, but for all of the related NFL events we have hosted throughout the city,” said NFL Executive Vice President of International Mark Waller. “We believe we have a great 2015 schedule that will continue to attract new fans to our sport and strengthen the bonds with our existing fans. To provide UK fans the opportunity to see games on consecutive weekends, to see new teams, and to attend a division game, which feature some of the most passionate rivalries in our sport, are signs of the growth and depth of our UK fan base.”
The three teams that will play regular-season games in the UK for the first time – Buffalo, Kansas City and the New York Jets – bring to 20 the number of different teams to play in the International Series in London since it began in 2007.