Dec 17, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; A detailed view of a New York Giants helmet before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

NFL grants international market access to four new teams

The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants are going global.

The four teams are entering the NFL’s Global Markets Program for the first time, with three of them including Germany among their target countries.

In the third year of the league’s program, the total number of teams participating has risen to 25 across 19 different markets around the country. The program aims to help teams grow their presence on the international stage with events, marketing and commercial opportunities.

The Browns were granted rights to Nigeria — the first NFL team to access that market.

The Giants have rights to Germany, the Colts were allowed both Austria and Germany and the Lions were granted Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

The league also said that the Miami Dolphins are expanding their rights holdings to Argentina, Colombia and Mexico — the former two being targets for the first time. Miami already had rights in Brazil, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The Los Angeles Rams, who previously had rights in Australia, New Zealand, China and Mexico, became the first teams to expand their rights to Japan and South Korea.

“The momentum of the Global Markets Program underscores the strong commitment of NFL clubs to growing the game and their passionate fan bases around the world. Clubs are seeing the value and opportunity in new markets and aligning with the league to accelerate that growth together,” Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s executive vice president for club business, major events and international, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see the ongoing impact of the program on fandom and global growth in this season and in years ahead, both in new and existing markets and via new clubs joining and active clubs deepening their strategic commitments.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) scores on a 1-yard touchdown run against New England Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (2) in the first half during an NFL International Series game at Deutsche Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gardner Minshew, Jonathan Taylor lift Colts past Patriots

Gardner Minshew passed for 194 yards, Jonathan Taylor scored the game’s only touchdown and the Indianapolis Colts held on to defeat the sinking New England Patriots 10-6 on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Colts (5-5) won their second straight game in order to enter their bye week at .500, while ensuring the Patriots (2-8) would retain the worst record in the AFC.

Minshew completed 18 of 28 passes and threw one interception. Taylor rushed 23 times for 69 yards, and Michael Pittman had a game-high eight catches for 84 yards for Indianapolis.

Behind by four with time winding down, the Patriots drove into striking distance. Rookie Demario Douglas had 9- and 21-yard receptions to help the cause.

But with Mike Gesicki getting open in the end zone, Mac Jones badly underthrew his pass to the tight end and Julian Blackmon corralled his third interception of the season.

The Patriots forced the Colts to punt and had one more possession with 1:52 to go. Bill Belichick sent Bailey Zappe in at quarterback after Jones’ league-high 10th pick of the year.

New England gained two first downs before Zappe, on a fake spike play, threw a deep ball intercepted by Rodney Thomas II.

Jones went 15-for-20 for 170 yards in the Patriots’ third straight loss and sixth in seven weeks. It was the third time this season New England failed to score a touchdown.

Rhamondre Stevenson ran 20 times for 88 yards.

The Patriots opened with a 13-play drive that produced a 37-yard field goal by Chad Ryland.

Indianapolis answered with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that ate up most of the rest of the first quarter. Taylor swept right on fourth-and-goal from half a yard away to make it 7-3.

The teams traded punts the rest of the half. The Colts converted a fourth-and-4 to set up a field goal in the final seconds, but Matt Gay was short from 57 yards.

Early in the third quarter, Minshew tried a throw on the run, linebacker Jahlani Tavai tipped it and Myles Bryant fielded the interception. New England, however, failed to capitalize when Ryland missed a field goal right from 35 yards.

New England’s best drive spanned 8:04 across the third and fourth quarters. The Patriots moved 89 yards in 15 plays, almost entirely on the ground, but Jones was nearly intercepted on third-and-goal. They settled for Ryland’s 24-yard field goal to cut it to 7-6 with 12:44 to play.

Isaiah McKenzie returned the ensuing kickoff to the Colts’ 47. Gay drilled a 51-yard field goal with 8:54 left.

–Field Level Media

Feb 3, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) during AFC practice for the Pro Bowl at Las Vegas Ballpark.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick expects CB J.C. Jackson back after bye week

New England coach Bill Belichick expects cornerback J.C. Jackson to return to the team before the Patriots play the New York Giants on Nov. 26.

“Yeah, I think he’ll be available,” Belichick told reporters Friday in Frankfurt, Germany, where New England plays the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday before a bye week. “No, he’s not on the trip.”

Belichick declined Friday to explain the decision to have Jackson stay home this week.

Sports Illustrated reported earlier this week that Jackson was late to the team hotel on Nov. 4, resulting in him being benched to begin New England’s game against the Washington Commanders.

The Patriots could turn to cornerbacks Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade and Alex Austin to play in place of Jackson, who was acquired by the team in October. Bryant (chest) and Jonathan Jones (knee) have been limited practice participants and are questionable for the game.

Jackson, who turns 28 on Nov. 17, played for New England from 2018-21. He signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers in March 2022 but played only five games that season due to injury.

He has recorded 190 tackles, 61 passes defensed and 26 interceptions in 74 games (49 starts) with the Patriots and Chargers. He won Super Bowl LIII with New England and made the Pro Bowl in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) stiff-arms New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (29) during the second half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Oct. 29, 2023.

Report: Patriots CB J.C. Jackson will not travel to Germany

New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson is not expected to travel with the team to face the Indianapolis Colts this weekend in Frankfurt, Germany, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Per the report, “questions about (Jackson’s) reliability” contributed to the Patriots’ decision to go without him this week. The team has a bye following Sunday’s game.

Sports Illustrated reported that Jackson was late to the team hotel last Saturday, resulting in him being benched to begin New England’s game against the Washington Commanders.

The Patriots can turn to cornerbacks Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade and Alex Austin to play in place of Jackson, who was acquired by the team in October.

Jackson, who turns 28 on Nov. 17, played for New England from 2018-21. He signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers in March 2022 but played only five games that season due to injury.

He has recorded 190 tackles, 61 passes defensed and 26 interceptions in 74 games (49 starts) with the Patriots and Chargers. He won Super Bowl LIII with New England and made the Pro Bowl in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany, ;  fans gather for an NFL International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs at Deutsche Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs stifle Dolphins’ offense, grab key AFC win

Patrick Mahomes threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the Miami Dolphins 21-14 Sunday in the first NFL game played in Frankfurt, Germany.

Bryan Cook’s fumble return for a touchdown just before halftime proved to be the game-winning score for the Chiefs (7-2), who earned what may prove to be a crucial win for playoff seeding tiebreakers with the Dolphins (6-3).

The Dolphins trailed 21-0 at halftime but scored twice late in the third quarter. Their nearly 8-minute drive in the fourth quarter yielded zero points when it was thwarted by a 6-yard tackle for loss by Willie Gay and an 11-yard sack by Tershawn Wharton.

Miami forced a three-and-out and got one more chance with the ball and 2:28 left. But on fourth-and-10 at the Chiefs’ 31, an errant snap glanced off Tua Tagovailoa’s fingertips and he could only fall on the ball.

Mahomes completed 20 of 30 passes, including touchdowns to Rashee Rice and Jerick McKinnon. Isiah Pacheco rushed 16 times for 66 yards.

For Miami, Tagovailoa went 21-of-34 passing for 193 yards and a touchdown. Raheem Mostert took 12 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown, and Tyreek Hill caught eight passes for 62 yards in his first game against his former team.

The Chiefs rolled 75 yards in seven plays on their opening drive, culminating in Mahomes’ 11-yard touchdown pass to Rice.

The teams combined to punt on their next seven drives before Kansas City forged a 13 play, 95-yard drive that ate up 8:28 of game time. McKinnon caught a pass in open space and carried it in for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:31 left in the half.

Miami went into its two-minute offense and reached the Chiefs’ 30-yard line before Hill caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and Trent McDuffie forced him to fumble. Mike Edwards recovered for the Chiefs and Hill tried to drag him down, so he pitched it back to Cook, who galloped 59 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

After a three-and-out to start the second half, Miami’s offense finally got the big play it needed. Tagovailoa lofted a 31-touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson Jr. with 4:47 left in the third quarter for a touchdown.

Bradley Chubb came through with a strip-sack of Mahomes on the Chiefs’ next possession, and Zach Sieler of the Dolphins recovered at the Kansas City 27. Four plays later, Mostert swept left for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to seven with 22 seconds left in the third.

The Dolphins, known for their explosive offense this season, were held to a season-low in points and went 3-for-12 on third downs.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Munich, Germany; A general overall view of German and United States flags on the field during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL International Series game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chiefs to play in Germany in 2023 and 2024

The Kansas City Chiefs will play games in Germany in 2023 and 2024, according to multiple reports Thursday.

The defending Super Bowl champions will face the Chicago Bears in Frankfurt on Nov. 12 or Nov. 19 this season, then take on the Carolina Panthers in Munich in 2024.

The German newspaper Bild and the Kansas City Star issued the reports. The NFL is expected to release the 2023 schedule next week.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 last November at Munich’s Allianz Arena in the first NFL regular-season game ever played in Germany. Attendance for that game was 69,811.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2022; Mexico City, MEXICO; A stadium sign announces the game   s attendance during the fourth quarter between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bills, Chiefs, Patriots part of 2023 International Series

Three 2022 playoff teams will need passports next season as part of the NFL’s International Series.

The NFL announced five of the teams involved in the games Thursday, including the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans playing home games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Both teams made previous trips to London, Buffalo in 2015 and the Titans in 2018.

“The NFL has done an incredible job with this initiative,” Bills COO Ron Raccuia said Thursday. “We’re excited for Bills Mafia to experience Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, one of the primary design inspirations for our new stadium scheduled to open in 2026.”

As per their multi-year commitment to London, the Jacksonville Jaguars will play at Wembley Stadium.

Two games in Germany are scheduled, and two of the four teams involved were revealed on Thursday: the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. New England is 3-0 in three previous international games.

“We know that some of our most passionate fans reside in Germany, and we look forward to finally playing a game there,” Patriots chairman Robert Kraft said in a statement.

The league identified Frankfurt and Munich as the host cities for the games in Germany over the next four years.

There will be no international game in Mexico in 2023 due to renovations planned for Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Game dates, times and locations are all confirmed when the NFL releases its full 2023 regular-season schedule.

–Field Level Media

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end David Bada (64) celebrates after a sack against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders sign German DT David Bada to active roster

The Washington Commanders signed German-born defensive tackle David Bada to the active roster Saturday.

He becomes the fourth current player from the NFL’s International Pathway Program on an active roster, joining Washington defensive end Efe Obada, Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata and Las Vegas Raiders fullback Jakob Johnson.

Bada, 27, was born in Munich and has spent the last three seasons with an exempt status on the Commanders’ practice squad.

He previously played in the German Football League with the Munich Cowboys, Ingolstadt Dukes and Schwabisch Hall Unicorns.

In a corresponding move, the Commanders (7-7-1) released defensive tackle Daniel Wise ahead of Sunday’s game against the visiting Cleveland Browns (6-9).

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2022; Munich, Germany; Large helmets of the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants during fan activation event at Odeonsplatz. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell: ‘At least’ 3 more games coming to Germany

Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Saturday that more NFL games are coming to Germany.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks will play the league’s first regular-season contest in the country on Sunday at Allianz Arena in Munich.

The NFL has committed to playing one more game in Germany in each of the next three seasons through 2025.

Goodell told a fan forum on Saturday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if it expanded beyond that at some point soon,” per the Associated Press.

Germany is the NFL’s top market in Europe. More than 800,000 fans entered a queue to try to get tickets for Sunday’s game, according to Brett Gosper, head of NFL Europe and U.K.

Munich and Frankfurt each will host two games under the current agreement.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates following a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Carroll amped for Seahawks-Buccaneers battle in Munich

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked about this week’s trip to Munich, Germany, to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday as part of the NFL’s International Series.

“To me, it’s like a (college) bowl game,” said Carroll, who guided USC to several, including a Bowl Championship Series title, before returning to the pros over a decade ago. “Everything around it, there is somewhat of a celebration everywhere you go as you travel and at the airport. It just seems like there is an added level of attention to it that makes it fun.”

It will be the first NFL game played at Allianz Arena, the home of the FC Bayern Munich soccer team, and will feature a pair of division leaders.

The surprising Seahawks (6-3) have won four consecutive games to move atop the NFC West, while Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (4-5) are tied for first with Atlanta in the NFC South.

Carroll said his players are excited about the trip.

“They are really pumped up about it,” Carroll said. “We are going to try and put on a show, make them see our football, and experience it in a way they never have before. It’s an honor to do that, and we will respect the heck out of every aspect of this.”

This will be the Seahawks’ second European trip in four years — they defeated the then-Oakland Raiders 27-3 in London in 2018 — so they have a feel for what’s ahead.

“Really, we are going to get on the bus, get on the plane, we will sleep a little bit longer, and we will be in a different country,” Carroll said. “It’s really not that big of a deal.”

The Seahawks won 31-21 at Arizona last week as Geno Smith shook off a pick-six to throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns while rookie Kenneth Walker III rushed for 109 and two more scores.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, had to rally to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 16-13 at home to end a three-game skid. Brady completed 5 of 6 passes for 60 yards on the winning drive, the record 55th of his career, and hit rookie tight end Cade Otton with a 1-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining.

“We have not played the way we’re capable. Just some things have kind of not really fallen our way at all,” said Brady, who became the first NFL quarterback to throw for more than 100,000 career yards, including regular season and playoffs. “Hopefully we can get a win (Sunday), get to 5-5 and then the whole season is ahead of us.”

Added Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles: “It’s a lot easier to fly overseas after you win a game than when you lose a game. We’ve just got to start putting (victories) together.”

Brady’s options might be diminished Sunday as several of his receivers were listed on the injury report this week. Wideouts Julio Jones (knee) and Russell Gage (hamstring) have missed practice, while Mike Evans (ribs/ankle) has been a limited participant. Guards Shaq Mason (ankle) and Luke Goedeke (foot) have also sat out, as has linebacker J.J. Russell (hamstring).

The Seahawks are relatively healthy, with nose tackle Al Woods and defensive end Poona Ford both missing practice because of illnesses and linebacker Cullen Gillaspia sidelined with a knee injury.

–Field Level Media