NFL’s Atlanta Falcons plan to play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the home side in the 2021 season if games outside the US can be played later this year.
- Atlanta is the first team to be announced for the 2021 Slate of London games
- Last season’s games outside the US were halted due to the pandemic
- Atlanta had a bleak 2020, starting 0-5, ending 4-12, at the bottom of the NFC South
- They have a new head coach, Arthur Smith, and are taking fourth place overall in the design
The Atlanta Falcons will play in England next season, Covid-willing, and give up a home game for that.
Still, the Falcons will be the nominal home team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in October, playing against a team outside the NFC South.
Outside of their NFC South rivals, the Lions are among the Atlanta home pawns for 2021, as well as the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Washington Football Team.
The Falcons boast the brilliant Julio Jones (right) as a wide receiver, capable of anything
Atlanta drafted quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008 to replace disgraced Michael Vick
Despite the increase in regular season games from 16 to 17, like all NFC teams, Atlanta will play its 17th game on the road in 2021.
Atlanta would play the Denver Broncos as one of four games last season as the visiting team at Tottenham.
But because of the pandemic, the NFL has curtailed its international program for a season.
Atlanta previously played one game of the regular season in England.
They shot at Wembley in 2014 against the Detroit Lions in a 21-0 lead at half time, but lost 22-21 thanks to Matt Prater’s field goal at the last second.
New head coach Arthur Smith observes players during a professional day training session last month
The Falcons hope 2021 is an improvement on last year, which started with a 0-5 start
Last season, the Falcons – who famously squandered a 28-3 lead over the Patriots in Super Bowl LI – finished at the bottom of their division with a 4-12 record.
It was a season of change with head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff who were relieved from their positions in October after a 0-5 start.
Raheem Morris took over as interim coach and they named Arthur Smith, 38, as the franchise’s 18th coach after the former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator took his first role as head coach in January.
They choose the fourth overall in the design, which starts at the end of this month.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosted Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019
The NFL schedule will be announced in May. It is unclear how many games are hosted abroad.
This week, Commissioner Roger Goodell revealed during a conference call that the NFL plans to build full stadiums with the season just five months away.
“All of us in the NFL want to see all of our fans again,” Goodell said.
‘Football is simply not the same without the fans and we expect to have full stadiums in the 2021 season.’