With the NFL announcing the 2023 season schedule on Thursday this week, rumors have been swirling about what teams will be playing overseas. Because of the Patriots' connections to Germany and knowing they would be getting one of the games, they have been a huge part of the conversation over the past week.
But who would they be facing during their week-long stay in Europe?
Last week, a German newspaper revealed the Patriots would be matching up with the New Orleans Saints on November 12th or 19th, with the Chiefs vs. the Bears set for the other game. This grabbed the attention of both fanbases as it would be the first time a game was played in Germany for the franchises, much to the excitement of the local fans.
That rumor quickly became debunked on Wednesday morning, as the Patriots were announced to actually be playing the Indianapolis Colts in week ten during the international series, surprising many fans in New England and New Orleans.
It's unclear who provided the information to our friends abroad, making them believe the Saints would be making the trip to Germany. But the Patriots were already aware they would be playing there next season, therefore not disappointing at least their fanbase across the pond.
The rest of the schedule is reportedly set to be released on Thursday, May 11th, at 8 pm Eastern and the Patriots' strength of schedule has already been deemed one of the most difficult for the season ahead.
Robert Kraft spoke about their trip to Germany for the first time, expressing the overall excitement from the organization to play in front of enthusiastic international fans for the eighth time in the organization's history.
“Germany has some of the most passionate sports fans in the world and has always been an international leader in enthusiasm for American football and the NFL. I’m thrilled to play a home game in this new market and to continue to build upon our team’s long history and engagement with German fans. Our goal is to connect with fans at the local level, and I look forward to expanding that fan base and fostering additional relationships and opportunities for partnership in Germany as well as Austria and Switzerland.”
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Patriots' schedule shakes out, especially with so many changes made to how the NFL schedules games now. Hopefully they won't make it too tough for them, given the challenges they're already set to deal with, but don't hold your breath.