Falcons to play Jaguars in London in 2023

ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz/For the AJC

Credit: Jason Getz/For the AJC

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons will play the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 1 as part of the 2023 NFL International Games, the league announced Wednesday. The game will kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN-Plus, with Jacksonville hosting as the home team.

The Week 4 matchup will mark the Falcons’ third regular-season game played in London, having most recently defeated the Jets 27-20 in Week 5 of the 2021 season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Falcons also hosted the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in a Week 8 loss in the 2014 season.

The full Falcons schedule will be released Thursday.

In addition to the six NFC South games next season, the Falcons are set to play the NFC North, AFC South and the last-place teams in the NFC East, NFC West and AFC East.

Here’s a look at the Falcons’ 2023 opponents:

HOME OPPONENTS

NFC South:

Saints

The skinny: Quarterback Derek Carr signed in free agency after he was released by the Raiders. Running back Jamaal Williams, who led the league with 17 rushing touchdowns last season, signed in free agency. The Saints were 7-10 last season in Dennis Allen’s first season as head coach. Series record: The Saints lead 54-53 in the regular season. Falcons lead 1-0 in the playoffs.

Panthers

The skinny: The Panthers traded up to land the first pick of the draft and selected former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. He’ll play for new coach Frank Reich, who was hired after the Panthers finished 7-10. The Panthers also signed running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver Adam Thielen and tight end Hayden Hurst in free agency. They and the Falcons split 1-1 last season.

Series record: The Falcons lead 35-21.

Buccaneers

The skinny: Quarterback Tom Brady retired, and the Bucs signed Baker Mayfield this offseason. Saddled with Brady’s dead salary-cap money, the Bucs had to cut several key veterans, including offensive tackle Donovan Smith, tight end Cameron Brate and running back Leonard Fournette. They selected former Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey with the 19th overall pick in the draft. Series record: The Bucs lead 30-29.

NFC North:

Vikings

The skinny: The Vikings feature dynamic wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who led the league with 128 catches and 1,809 yards last season. Running back Dalvin Cook’s future with the Vikings is cloudy after he refused a pay cut. The Vikings went 13-4 last season and will try to defend their NFC North title. Series record: The Vikings lead 19-11.

Packers

The skinny: It’s on to the Jordan Love era at quarterback for the Packers, who traded Aaron Rodgers to the Jets before the draft. The Packers were 8-9 last season. Wide receiver Christian Watson came on strong in his rookie season. He finished with 41 catches for 611 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. Five picks after the Falcons took running back Bijan Robinson, the Packers selected Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness with the 13th overall pick. Series record: The Packers lead 17-14.

AFC South:

Texans

The skinny: The Texans drafted former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and former Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson with the second and third picks in the draft. New coach DeMeco Ryans takes over after serving as the defensive coordinator in San Francisco. Series record: The Texans lead 3-2.

Colts

The skinny: The Colts hired former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and drafted former Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth overall pick in the draft. Matt Ryan was released by the Colts after one season. Series record: The Colts lead 15-2.

NFC East

The skinny: The Commanders re-signed defensive tackle DaRon Payne to a four-year, $90 million deal. Ron Rivera named former North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell the starting quarterback. If Howell falls on his face, the Commanders signed Jacoby Brissett as the veteran backup. They were 8-8-1 last season, with a win over the Falcons. Series record: The Commanders lead 16-10-1.

ROAD OPPONENTS

NFC South: Panthers, Saints and Buccaneers

NFC North

Bears

The skinny: Quarterback Justin Fields is set to enter his third season in the NFL. He has a 5-20 record as a starter and was sacked a league-leading 55 times last season. The Bears picked Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright with the 10th overall pick in the draft. They will be trying to rebound from a 3-14 season. Series record: The Bears lead 15-14.

Lions

The skinny: The Lions finished last season by going 8-2 to complete an 8-9 record. They replaced their running back tandem of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams by signing David Montgomery in free agency and drafting former Alabama and Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round. Former Falcons defensive tackle John Cominsky has revived his career with the Lions. He played in 14 games and made eight starts last season. Series record: The Lions lead 25-14.

AFC South

Jaguars

The skinny: Trevor Lawrence (Cartersville) last season started to show some of the promise that made him the No. 1 player taken in the 2021 draft. He helped guide the Jaguars to the playoffs in coach Doug Pederson’s first season. Tight end Evan Engram (Hillgrove High) caught a career-high 73 passes for 766 yards last season. The Jaguars won the division with a 9-8 record. Series record: The Falcons lead 5-3.

Titans

The skinny: The Titans’ front office was overhauled after general manager Jon Robinson was terminated during last season. New GM Ran Carthon got his start with the Falcons in 2008. The offense currently is built around running back Derrick Henry. The Titans drafted quarterback Will Levis. Series record: The Titans lead 8-7.

NFC West

Cardinals

The skinny: After going 11-6 and making the playoffs in 2021, the Cardinals nosedived to 4-13 last season, and coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired. They hired former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Injured quarterback Kyler Murray will miss the beginning of the season. Backup Colt McCoy appears set to play early. The Cardinals drafted former Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. with the sixth overall pick. Series record: The series is tied 16-16.

AFC East

Jets

The skinny: The Jets made the trade of the offseason by acquiring former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Jets finished 7-10 last season. The Jets’ defense ranked fourth in yards allowed (311.1) and in points allowed (18.6) per game. Series record: The Falcons lead 8-5.

The Bow Tie Chronicles

August 2 , 2022 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons' running back Caleb Huntley (42) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the final exhibition game of the preseason at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Atlanta Falcons won 28-12 over Jacksonville Jaguars. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

August 2 , 2022 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons' running back Caleb Huntley (42) scores a touchdown during the second half of the final exhibition game of the preseason at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Atlanta Falcons won 28-12 over Jacksonville Jaguars. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

August 2 , 2022 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons' running back Caleb Huntley (42) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the final exhibition game of the preseason at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Atlanta Falcons won 28-12 over Jacksonville Jaguars. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

August 2 , 2022 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons' running back Caleb Huntley (42) rushes against Jacksonville Jaguars' safety Rudy Ford (5) during the first half of the final exhibition game of the preseason at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at on Saturday, August 27, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Atlanta Falcons' running back Caleb Huntley (42) rushes between Jaguars defenders during the fourth quarter of an NFL exhibition game against the Jacksonville, Jaguars on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.
 Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

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