The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play international games during the 2022 season, the league announced Monday.
The Buccaneers, two-time Super Bowl champions, will play in the NFL’s inaugural regular-season game in Munich, Germany, while the Cardinals will play in Mexico City, where they hosted the league’s first-ever regular-season game outside the United States in 2005.
The Packers will make their first international trip, becoming the 32nd NFL team to play in London since 2007. The Saints will play in the UK for the third time, having won on two previous occasions. The Jaguars previously announced that they will play a home game at Wembley Stadium in 2022.
Last year, as part of the League’s expansion of the regular season to 17 games, it was determined that, beginning with the 2022 season, up to four of the teams from the conference whose teams were eligible for a ninth regular-season home game would instead be designated to play a neutral-site international game each year.
Designated international teams in 2022:
FC Bayern Munich Stadium
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mexico (Mexico City)
United Kingdom (London)
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
United Kingdom (London)
As previously announced, Munich and Frankfurt were chosen to stage regular-season games in Germany over the next four years. The first game will feature the Buccaneers.
The Packers will become the 32nd NFL team to play in London since 2007.
The Saints will return to London to play their first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after having played at Wembley Stadium in 2008 and 2017.
The Jaguars, who played at Tottenham last season, will return to Wembley Stadium for the first time since 2019, having played there for seven straight seasons.
Down 21-10 to the Saints(2-2) in the fourth quarter, it appeared the New York Giants were about to fall to 0-4. However, Daniel Jones connected with Saquon Barkley on a 54-yard touchdown pass, and Jones led the Giants on a drive that ended with a 48-yard Graham Gano field goal to send the game to overtime.
In OT, Jones would lead New York on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a six-yard Barkley touchdown run to give New York(1-3) their first victory of the season 27-21 at Caesars Superdome.
“We needed a win, and there was a high sense of urgency to do that,” Jones said after the game. “We treated it as one week at a time. We focus throughout the week preparing and playing our best on Sunday. That was our focus this week. We have to continue to work and continue to sharpen things up. It was a big win.”
The Giants gained 485 yards against New Orleans, their highest total since they finished with 552 in the overtime victory in Washington two years ago.
Both Jones and Barkley had big-time performances on Sunday. The third-year quarterback completed 28 of 40 passes for 402 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The 402 yards is a career-high.
“Look, I love Daniel(Jones),” Giants head coach Joe Judge said. “He had a heck of a game today. “I am going to leave that right there… Daniel Jones is our quarterback… I am very proud of how he came down here and prepared throughout the week and performed in that environment against that defense.”
Regarding Barkley, he rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries and caught five passes for 74 yards. This was the fourth time Barkley scored rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game. Barkley’s 126 yards from scrimmage marked his 21st game with more than 100 yards.
Barkley, who’s coming back from a torn ACL, was excited to get the win and feels his knee is getting stronger.
“We haven’t won a game all year, so for us to come out here and win a game in a tough environment against a great defense and a great team is great,” Barkley said. “We have been in a lot of close game. We have to keep going. We have to keep working every day. We have to keep believing in each other and get ready for next week. Personally, it helps with your confidence to make plays out there, especially late in the game. It feels good to get the win. It definitely builds my confidence up. Each week I keep feeling my knee getting better and better. I just have to keep trusting the process and keep going.”
Giants head coach Joe Judge added about Barkley: “He’s gone through a lot of things, but he’s always kept the team first in everything he’s done, and they see that There’s a reason he was selected as a captain by his teammates and to represent them with how he works and performs on the field. In terms of seeing him have success, it’s collective success. It is everyone’s win. Saquon obviously punched the ball in at the end to close it out. That’s what we wanted, to get the ball back and finish the game out right there. That’s what we were able to do.”
This was a must-win for New York, who had lost two straight games on the final play. Now, they have an opportunity to make a move in the NFC East as they go on the road to battle the 3-1 Cowboys next Sunday.
Watch as Barkley discusses New York’s first victory of the season:
On Sunday in New Orleans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Saints and Buccaneers will battle it out for the third time this season. Tampa Bay is 0-2 against the Saints this season and has been outscored 72-26. Overall, New Orleans has beaten the Buccaneers five straight times.
The two quarterbacks in this game have accomplished so much in the game of football. In a combined 41 years of NFL service, Tom Brady and Drew Brees have thrown for 176563 yards and 1263 touchdowns, with seven Super Bowl victories. Brady is number one in passing yards and touchdowns, while Brees is second in those categories. So, obviously, these guys have put in a lot of work.
Brady is 43, and Brees is 42, so there is a good chance that these two guys may never play against each other ever again. Brady, who is 2-5 against Brees all-time, has a lot of respect for the New Orleans Saints quarterback.
“He’s a lot younger than me – he’s 18 months younger than me. Eighteen months ago, I felt pretty good, so I’ve got a little advanced age on him – and experience,” Brady said this week. “I’m hanging in there. He’s had a terrific year. He’s a great player – I’ve known him for a long time. I’ve always had a great amount of respect for him going all the way back to his Purdue days. My roommate, when I first got to the Patriots, was from Purdue and was really good friends with Drew. I always just kept up with him and have gotten to know him somewhat well over the years. I just think so much of him as a person and as a player. I know what it takes to do what he’s doing [and] he knows what it takes to do what I’m doing. I think there’s just a lot of mutual respect.”
Turnovers have killed the Buccaneers against the Saints this season, and Brady has been the biggest culprit. He has thrown five interceptions against New Orleans, and according to him, turnovers could decide the outcome of Sunday’s game.
“It’s big for both teams,” Brady said. “Turnover margin – out of all of the stats – I think that one always speaks to wins and losses just about more than any other stat. Taking care of the football maximizes your ability to score. Taking the football away minimizes their ability to score. It’s very difficult to score if you don’t have the ball. If you give the ball away, it gives them more chances to score. When you play good teams, it always comes down to that. That’s a big point of emphasis – we’ve got to protect it in the passing game. That responsibility obviously falls on the quarterback, but it falls on a lot of other people too. It falls on all of us, making a concerted effort to be on the same page in the passing game so that we can play with anticipation [and] play with confidence.”
Brady’s worst moments this season have been against New Orleans, and quite frankly, Brady is going to have to protect the ball and be better if the Buccaneers want to beat the Saints on Sunday. If he is better, maybe the Buccaneers can finally beat the Saints. If not, we might see a repeat of the previous two games between these teams this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has never played this late into a season. In fact, this is his first time being in the playoffs. Evans, who was a limited participant at practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury he suffered in Week 17 against the Falcons, played well in his first career playoff game and finished with six catches for 119 yards in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 road victory over the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card game last Saturday night.
For Evans, playing in his first playoff game was special to the seven-year veteran.
“It meant a lot. I haven’t been to the playoffs – it was my first time, first game in the playoffs,” Evans said on Wednesday. “I was excited to play, it was great weather [and] we had a great week of preparation. It just meant a lot to be out there and to try to make plays to help my team win. The goal is to do enough each week to play the next week, so that’s what we’re doing this week.”
Now, the Buccaneers prepare for a familiar foe in Divisional Round, as they travel to New Orleans to battle the Saints, who have beaten Tampa Bay twice this season and five times overall. In 2020, New Orleans outscored the Buccaneers 72-26, including the Saints’ 38-3 victory over Tampa Bay in November.
According to Evans, who became the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons to begin his career, Tampa Bay is a much different team since that November matchup.
“I feel like we’re getting healthier,’ he said. “Our roster, I feel like, is the most talented roster in the league. We started off as a good team because we just have a lot of great players on our team. But now, we’re forming into a great team. We’ve just got to keep going each week, battling, finding ways to get better, and finding ways to win tough games.”
Even though Tampa Bay has not beaten New Orleans in five tries, Evans believes the Saints are Tampa’s biggest rival.
“It’s definitely a great rivalry,” he said. “When we play each other, [there] is a lot of emotion, a lot of physicality. As players, we love it – we love this rivalry. I know the fans love it. I would say it is our biggest rivalry.”
New Orleans has Tampa Bay’s number at this point, but it’s tough to beat a team three times in a season, so that could work in the Buccaneers’ favor. They have the talent to defeat New Orleans, but based on what we have seen in the regular season, it won’t be easy.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has coached some very good defenses over the years, but at this point, the defense that he is coaching right now is not very good.
The Vikings’ defense allowed the Saints to score 52 points, including 264 yards rushing and 583 yards of total offense. In addition, they allowed Saints RB Alvin Kamara to run for six touchdowns.
In August, Zimmer told the NFL Network that he’s never been apart of a lousy defense. Well, after their performance against the Saints, Zimmer admitted the obvious.
“Yeah, this is a bad defense,” Zimmer said after the game. “Worst one I’ve ever had.”
The 52 points are the most Minnesota allowed since 1963, so it’s all bad for the Vikings.
Currently, the Vikings have the 27th ranked defense in football.
“You’ve gotta work really hard to give up 52,” Zimmer said.
The Vikings(6-9), who are on a three-game losing streak, have been officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss to New Orleans.
Coming into the season, the Vikings had a lot of promise after making it to the Divisional Round a year ago. However, Minnesota got off to a 1-5 start, and while they were able to get to 6-6, the last few weeks have been a disappointment. Now, they go into the offseason, trying to figure out what went wrong in 2020.
Listen below as Zimmer talks his bad Vikings’ defense:
Eagles rookie QB Jalen Hurts, in his first career start, made a few plays, and with the help of Miles Sanders(115 yards rushing, one touchdown), who had an 82-yard touchdown run and an opportunistic defense that sacked Saints QB Taysom Hill five times and forced two turnovers, Philadelphia(4-8-1) was able to defeat New Orleans(10-3) 24-21 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Hurts, who replaced an ineffective Wentz, was 17-30 for 167 yards with a touchdown and 106 yards rushing, played a solid game on Sunday against the Saints number one ranked defense, and was excited to get a win in his first career start.
“It felt good, it felt good. [It’s] always a great feeling to get a ‘W’,” Hurt said. “All week, we talked about going out there and executing and dominating our box. Coming out at halftime without looking at the scoreboard. I’ve said it a lot, just having a standard for play. We got this win, but is it up to our standard of play? No. So that’s why I say we have so much to build on and so much more to work for. [We] have to continue to build, continue to learn. Every game is an opportunity to learn, and we need to use it to our advantage moving forward.”
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson felt Hurts gave the team a spark on Sunday.
“Jalen got the start this afternoon, and I thought overall, there were some good things and really, kind of gave us a spark as a team that I was looking for, and I think we were looking for as a team,” Pederson said. “But you know, this win today is not about one guy. This win is about this team and how resilient this team is.”
Eagles WR Jalen Reagor(65 total yards) was impressed by what he saw out of Hurts and was proud of his performance.
“Ah man, you guys saw, he looked good,” Reagor said about Hurts. “He is a fearless guy, just like myself. He is a winner. He knows how to play, and I am proud of him. I am proud for him, and I am happy to see where he goes.”
When asked if Hurts will be the starter next week on the road against Arizona, Pederson has this to say:
“I’m going to enjoy this one. I’m going to go home and relax and be with my family tonight and enjoy this win and get ready for the week.”
Obviously, Hurts will start next week against the Cardinals. The rookie was solid today and used his legs effectively against New Orleans. Maybe this move should have happened sooner. Who knows. However, Hurts and Philadelphia have to keep it going, and this win against the Saints should give the Eagles some hope.
As we approach Week14, teams are starting to clinch, while others continue to battle for one of the 14 playoff spots in the NFL. Last week, the Chiefs and Saints clinched playoff spots and can win their respective divisions this week.
The Bills, Steelers, and Packers can clinch playoff berths in Week 14, and if few things go their way, Pittsburgh and Green Bay can win division titles this weekend.
Below are the playoff scenarios for Week 14:
Kansas City Chiefs – playoff berth
BUFFALO BILLS (9-3) (vs. Pittsburgh (11-1), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)
Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:
BUF win + BAL loss + MIA loss + LV loss + NE loss or tie
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-1) (at Miami (8-4), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)
Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:
KC win or tie OR
LV loss or tie
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-1) (at Buffalo (9-3), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)
Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:
PIT win + CLE loss
Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:
PIT win or tie OR
LV loss or tie OR
MIA loss or tie OR
New Orleans Saints – playoff berth
GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-3) (at Detroit (5-7), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Green Bay clinches NFC North division title with:
GB win + MIN loss or tie OR
GB tie + MIN loss
Green Bay clinches playoff berth with:
GB win + ARI loss or tie OR
GB win + LAR loss or tie OR
GB win + SEA win or tie OR
GB tie + ARI loss OR
GB tie + LAR loss + ARI tie OR
GB tie + SEA win or tie + ARI tie
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-2) (at Philadelphia (3-8-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:
NO win OR
TB loss OR
NO tie + TB tie
There is so much hype surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and many expected this team to come out firing, but in Week 1, Tampa Bay traveled to New Orleans to battle the Saints in Tom Brady’s debut with the team. However, it did not turn out very well for Brady and the Buccaneers.
The future Hall of Famer was intercepted twice, including a pick-six by Janoris Jenkins, as the Buccaneers would fall to New Orleans 34-23. Since that game, a lot has changed with the Buccaneers. The team has won three straight and six out of the last seven, and now, Tampa Bay(6-2) is on top of the NFC South and are looking to stay there when they host the Saints(5-2) on Sunday Night Football.
At 6-2, Tampa Bay is off to their best start since 2002, but the Saints have beaten the Buccaneers four straight times, and according to Tampa Bay LB Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay can’t wait for the rematch.
“We’ve been itching for this game,” Barrett said on Friday. “We know they’ve had our number for the last three games we played [against them]. We’ve got to step up [and] we’ve got to do something different to give ourselves a chance to win this game. [We have] got to get some sacks [and] get some turnovers, but we’ve still got to maintain that strong defensive front where [if] we don’t allow [any] rushing and few passing yards, we’ll be able to get the job done. This is a big-time game for us for the No. 1 seed, and it will set us up for where we want to be at.”
Tampa Bay’s defense has been playing well of late and is getting after the quarterback. The Buccaneers have posted at least 3.0 sacks in each of the past four games, and Barrett thinks the defense has improved a lot since Week 1.
“We’re a lot better,” Barrett said. “We’ve been working on our mistakes that we knew we had to work on since last year, which is communication [and] two-minute, end of game [situations]. We’ve been trying to get better at that. We know what we have to fix [and] we’ve been trying to fix it, so I think that’s one of the key things.”
This is a big game, and there is no getting around it. If the Saints win on Sunday, they would have swept the season series, which would be huge if these two teams would have identical records at the end of the season. Games like this are why you bring in Brady, and it’s time for him to deliver on Sunday night. Expect a tremendous performance out of Brady and the Buccaneers.
For most teams, winning 13 games in a season would be considered a success. However, for the New Orleans Saints, it turned out to be a disappointment. New Orleans would lose in the wild card round at home to the Minnesota Vikings.
At age 41, Saints QB Drew Brees only has so much football left in him, thus losing in disappointing fashion to the Vikings was a massive blow to New Orleans. According to one of Brees’ former teammates, Deuce McAllister, Brees might not be the same player he once was, but he is still has a lot to give.
“Drew is the old man in the room, the old man in the building,” McAllister said last week via a video call. “It’s amazing to watch him be able to go out there and do it, and I think it shows you how well he’s prepared, how he’s changed, not only how well he works out, but what he eats, what he consumes. And then for him to be able to say, look, my body is okay, I think I can give it another run and then truly commit to it, I think that’s probably the most amazing part about it just because of the player that he is.
“Look, he’s not the Drew Brees of 2011, the Drew Brees of 2006 either, but I think he’s still good enough and he’s still an elite enough of a player that can command the huddle, has the respect of the players, and then the question is can he go out and do his job effectively. That’s the biggest question. You listen to Sean (Payton), and how they will manage his throws, how they even may manage some of the games he plays in. Look, we all know Drew, Drew is not going to want to miss one play. Drew, this one is over, you are up 21, and there are ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, get out. That’s not him. He’s preparing from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint to be able to finish the game, but sometimes they have to protect Drew from himself in that instance just because he is so competitive.”
You wonder if there will be any issues with Brees after his recent comments about kneeling during the national anthem. To Brees’ credit, he did apologize, and it appears that everybody is on the same page.
Back in March, the Saints and Brees agreed to a two-year, $50 million contract. Last season, Brees, who missed five games due to a thumb injury, threw for 2979 yards with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Brees was also selected to the Pro Bowl for the 13th time in his career. Barring injury, it’s clear the Saints can still rely on Brees, but at some point, 41 is going to look like 41, so the Saints must win now.
The Minnesota Vikings(10-6) had nothing to play for on Sunday against the Bears as their playoff position was already solidified; Minnesota will be the sixth seed in the playoffs. With their playoff spot settled, the Vikings did not play most of their starters, including QB Kirk Cousins, and would lose to the Bears at home 21-19.
Now, it’s time to focus on the playoffs. To get to the Super Bowl, Minnesota will have to win three straight games on the road, and it starts next Sunday when they face the New Orleans Saints.
When asked if he thinks the Vikings can win three straight road games and get to Super Bowl 55, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had this to say.
“I know it’s been done before,” he said. “Why not us?”
Vikings Defensive End Ifeadi Odenigbo added: “Coach Zimmer was harping on us all week that all through OTAs, camp, this is what we have been waiting for. We have the guys in this room to do it, and we are excited for next week.”
The last wild card team to make the Super Bowl was the 2010 Green Bay Packers, who defeated the Steelers in SB XLV.
Can Minnesota make a Super Bowl run? Playing the Saints in New Orleans is a very difficult proposition, but anything is possible. However, it all depends on what Cousins shows up. If it’s the Cousins we saw later in the season, the Vikings could make some noise, but if it’s the Cousins we saw earlier in the season, and last week against the Packers, then no, they can’t make any noise. For now, we wait and see.