The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers are taking their rivalry across the pond in 2019.
As one of the five teams that will host a game in the NFL's growing International Series next season, the Buccaneers will play host to their division foes in London. The game will be played at either Wembley Stadium or Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; further event details such as location, date and time will be released when the NFL reveals its full 2019 schedule in the spring. Last year, the three NFL games played in London fell on Weeks Six, Seven and Eight.
This will be the third time that the Buccaneers have played a regular-season game outside the United States, all of them in London. Tampa Bay faced the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium in 2009 and then returned to that venue in 2011 to take on the Chicago Bears.
The matchup with the Panthers will be considered part of the Buccaneers' home schedule in 2019. Tampa Bay will also have games at Raymond James Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.
The Buccaneers have never before faced a division rival internationally, and this will be the first time the Panthers have taken part in the International Series. Intra-division matchups have been relatively rare in the series; only three of the previous 26 games have featured a pair of division foes (N.Y. Jets vs. Miami in 2015, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville in 2016 and Arizona vs. L.A. Rams in 2017).
The other four teams that will host International Series games in 2019 are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders. Four of the games will be in London and the fifth is earmarked for Mexico City. The Buccaneers inclusion on the list of international hosts is a byproduct of Super Bowl LV being awarded to the Tampa Bay area. That game will be played at Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021, following the 2020 season.
The NFL's International Series began in 2007 and included a single game in London every year through 2012. In 2013, the league expanded the program to three games, all in London, then added a fourth game in Mexico City in 2016. The NFL staged four games in London and one in Mexico City in 2017, as is the plan for the upcoming season.
Besides their two previous trips to London, the only other game the Buccaneers have played outside the United States was a preseason contest in Tokyo in August of 2003.