The NFL returns to London on Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings (2-1) and New Orleans Saints (1-2) play the first of five international games scheduled for this season.
With Justin Jefferson and the Vikings taking on Alvin Kamara and the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday’s game will mark the 100th game played outside of the US regular season and preseason.
After picking up a victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 3, the Vikings are looking to recapture the magic of the Miracle in Minneapolis – Stefon Diggs scored a remarkable 61-yard touchdown in an NFC Divisional semifinal he four years ago — against a struggling Saints team, which will likely be without starting quarterback Jameis Winston and All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas.
This year, 10 teams will travel to three different countries, including the first-ever regular season game in Germany, when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena – home of the Bundesliga soccer club. Bayern Munich – in November.
In weeks 4 and 5, more than 200 players, coaches and executives will celebrate their legacy by displaying international flags on their helmets and apparel.
Players like Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray, who will sport a South Korean flag, and Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown – the German flag will be on his helmet – will highlight the NFL’s global diversity within the league.
“My mom is from Germany, so having German, German-speaking grandparents every summer, heritage and culture has been a part of my whole life,” St. Brown said.
“I am half German. It’s a part of me. I love it. In my young career, I have already been amazed at the influence of my culture and heritage and I am delighted to continue to see German representation impacting our game.”
Brady and the Bucs (2-1) play at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday night against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1).
Earlier this week, the Bucs were forced to practice at Miami Dolphins team facilities due to the impact of Hurricane Ian, leaving the prime-time game in Tampa in limbo. .
Despite the destruction caused by the hurricane, the team confirmed the game would go ahead as planned, with Brady highlighting how the game could serve as a time for fans to come together.
“I always feel like the sport has brought people together over a long period of time,” Brady said Thursday during a regular press session.
“Looking at different adversities, whether it’s 9/11 or Katrina, sport has an amazing way of healing wounds and bringing people together and bringing communities together and starting to encourage a common interest for the common good.”
Weather concerns aside, both teams enter Week 4 having suffered their first losses of the season.
In a Super Bowl LV rematch, in which Brady won his seventh career championship, the two superstar quarterbacks will meet again for a sixth time and the first since the title game.
Brady, who holds a 3-2 record over Mahomes, will enter Sunday’s game with the return of some much-needed offensive weapons – star receiver Mike Evans is back from his one-game suspension for a fight on the field with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
However, receivers Chris Godwin and Julio, who have been out all season with hamstring and knee injuries, are doubts for the Bucs.
Sunday’s game is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson started the season at a historic pace, scoring 12 total touchdowns in the first three weeks of the season while leading the team to a 2-1 record.
Jackson, playing the final year of his contract, will lead the Ravens against fellow MVP candidate Josh Allen and the tough Buffalo Bills defense.
Both teams suffered their only losses this season in epic matchups against the resilient Miami Dolphins.
The NFL’s 2018 first-round picks were a big part of their team’s early success as Allen is coming off a 400+ yard game against the Dolphins, and at nine passing touchdowns, only Jackson for most this season.
Jackson and Allen are the only two players in the NFL’s 103-year history to have both nine touchdown passes and 100 rushing yards in the first three games of a season.
Sunday’s showdown will begin at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.
Defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams (2-1) travel to San Francisco to face the division and national rival the 49ers (1-2) on Monday Night Football.
In recent years, the 49ers have been the Rams’ Achilles heel, as Los Angeles has failed to pull off a win at Levi’s Stadium since 2018.
Notably, prior to their NFC Championship win last season, the Rams had lost six straight to San Francisco.
After losing quarterback Trey Lance for the season to an ankle injury in Week 2, Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers will look to build on their recent success against the Rams to repair a rocky start to the season over the which they sport a 1-2 record in the highly competitive NFC West.
The game between the NFC West rivals kicks off Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.