The NFL began its journey of hosting international games in 2005 when the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers played a regular season game in Mexico City, Mexico.
In the nearly 20 years since the idea of international play was incepted, teams across the league have played in Mexico, London, and Germany, and are slated to expand to countries such as Australia and Scotland in the future as well.
Today, the league announced five of the teams that will be competing in international contests during the 2023 regular season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2023
The Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New England Patriots were the five teams listed.
While we have not been made privy to who these teams will be facing in these games, this announcement comes at an exciting time, given the playoffs are still underway.
There have been many critics of the international series, considering that it requires NFL players to make a trek to a new country, often on short rest, and many of the players can experience jet lag.
However, at least from a historical lens, the NFL has combated many of these objections.
Last season, teams were given a choice when they had their bye week, with many electing to have their bye week after traveling abroad, allowing their minds and bodies to rest and get back to life in the United States.
Although soccer still reigns supreme in terms of overall viewership in countries like London, Germany, and Mexico, NFL football is quickly catching up, and a lot of that can be attributed to the international series.