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NFL announces opponents for Bucs and Jaguars international games

Florida Football Insiders



USA Today Sports

We already knew that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars were slated to be part of the NFL International series. Now, we’ve learned where, and against what opponents, they will be playing.

This after the NFL announced the five matchups for next season’s schedule on Monday morning:

First, the Jaguars annual “home game” in London will be against the Houston Texans in an AFC South clash. This is the first time in four years that Jacksonville will play a division opponent, as they’ve played the defending Champion Eagles last season, and the AFC North Baltimore Ravens the year before in England. They played and defeated the Colts in 2016 in London.

For the Buccaneers, this will be the third time that they will host a regular season home game abroad. And, they will be playing a division rival also, the Carolina Panthers. The Bucs previous two games in the “International Series” were played in England in 2009 against the Patriots (above) and then, in 2011 against the Bears.

The Bucs will play Carolina with new coach Bruce Arians at the helm with a likely October date for the game.

It had been speculated that the NFL’s International game in Mexico would feature the Oakland Raiders this upcoming year, as they are currently embroiled in a controversy about where to play home games next season? The Raiders are being sued by the city of Oakland, and owner Mark Davis has made it clear they’re no longer going to play in the Oakland Coliseum in 2019 before moving to Las Vegas in the new stadium in 2020.

However, the league announced on Monday that the Chargers and Chiefs will play an AFC West showdown in Mexico, at a date still to be announced. Meanwhile, the Raiders will host the Bears and also the Rams, who qualified for Super Bowl 53 Sunday, will host the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL had scheduled a Rams home game with Kansas City for Mexico last November, but the field at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City was ruled unplayable/unsafe. So, their epic Monday night game was instead played the L.A. Coliseum.

Now, it is possible that the Rams could be hosting their London game, as the Superbowl champs.

The Jaguars had won three London games in a row, until defending champion Philadelphia beat them a year ago. That weekend was not without controversy, as numerous Jaguars were detained for hours by London police for trying to leave a prominent London Club without paying their tens of thousands of dollars in alcohol costs.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are o-2 in their two matchups in the UK.

The NFL will name dates for the different international games later in the offseason, and the full schedule release is due out in April before the upcoming NFL Draft at the end of that month.

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