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Ranking The UK's Favorite NFL Teams: Bills Mafia Goes Global

Bookies.com Staff for Bookies.com

Bookies.com Staff  | 5 mins

Ranking The UK's Favorite NFL Teams: Bills Mafia Goes Global

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The NFL is quickly becoming a global game. Live streaming, the International Pathway program, and the NFL International Series have brought the game outside the United States, and that will continue in 2023 with three games being played in Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in October.

All 32 teams have played at least one game as part of the International Series, which also includes Mexico (four games) and Germany (one game, but two more happening in 2023). But the United Kingdom has been the main hub for this series, with 33 games being played there between 2007 and 2022.

But which NFL team do NFL fans in the UK cheer for most? We analyzed divisions, conferences, and league data at Google Trends over the last 12 months (August 2022 to August 2023) to see which NFL team was the most popular. Here’s what we found.

Top Rank: The Buffalo Bills

The UK loves the Buffalo Bills, and it’s safe to say that fans are excited about the Bills coming to Europe this fall when they battle the Jaguars on October 8. 

Josh Allen’s group ranked as the favorite AFC East team in all four countries, the favorite AFC team in all four countries, and the favorite NFL team in England and Wales. Maybe it’s because they’re playing there in October.

The remarkable part is that 2023 will be Buffalo’s first trip across the pond since 2015—only the Steelers (2013) and Cowboys (2014) have had longer gaps between visits, and Buffalo’s lone trip in 2015—a 34-31 loss to the Jags—is tied for the fewest UK games in league history.

Ranking The UK's Favorite NFL Teams: Bills Mafia Goes Global 1
 

The UK Roots For Top-Ranked NFL Teams And The Browns

The Bills’ clean sweep in the AFC East wasn’t totally unique as the Chiefs (AFC West), Browns (AFC North), 49ers (NFC West), and Packers (NFC North) all did the same. 

We can understand the nationally branded 49ers and Packers, and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs are becoming a global name with their recent successes - two Super Bowl wins in four years.

But the Browns were certainly a surprise. Cleveland has played across the pond one time—a 2017 loss to the Vikings in London. Then again, the AFC North has been a rarity in the UK, with the four teams combining for five total games. 


RELATED: 2023 AFC + NFC Championship Odds Tracker


Cincinnati has played twice, while Baltimore and Pittsburgh have played once. In fact, the AFC North hasn’t played in the UK since 2019, but the Ravens will play in London in October. 

The last note that makes this a surprise: The Steelers are the only NFL team with international marketing rights in Northern Ireland as part of the league’s Global Markets Program, and yet the Browns are Northern Ireland's favorite team. There’s a feather in your cap, Cleveland. 

Maybe the Giants should look to earn international marketing rights in Northern Ireland considering New York is the country’s favorite team in the NFC East, NFC, and NFL; they recently played in London in 2022, defeating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and are 3-0 all-time.

The Jacksonville Jaguars Are UK's Mainstays

We can’t write about football in the UK without mentioning the Jaguars. Jacksonville has played a league-high nine games in London, including contests in 2021 and 2022—the first team to play in London in consecutive years. 

They’ll play once again in 2023 as part of their agreement to host a “home” game through 2024, including back-to-back weeks on Oct. 1 (Falcons) and 8 (Bills).

Their four wins is the most all-time, though they’re just 4-5 overall. Jacksonville was the most popular team in England, Scotland, and Wales (Northern Ireland prefers the Colts), though the Jaguars were not the most popular AFC team anywhere (Bills in all four countries).

The NFC Reigns Supreme

The 49ers were the most popular NFC team in Scotland and Wales, while the Giants were the favorite in Northern Ireland and the Saints in England. Also, New York topped the list with the most popular NFL team in the Northern Islands, and the Niners the most popular NFL team in Scotland.

Ranking The UK's Favorite NFL Teams: Bills Mafia Goes Global 2
 

Perhaps it’s recency—or success. The Giants are a perfect 3-0 across the pond, while the Niners are 2-0 (plus a win in Mexico in 2022). The Saints are a respectable 2-1 in the UK, and all three of those teams played in 2022.

In the for-what-it-worth department, the NFC is 12-4-1 against the AFC in the United Kingdom; 16 of the games were inter-conference matchups. The average score in those 17 games? NFC 24, AFC 20.8.

The close average margin of victory is buoyed by three huge AFC wins, including the Patriots’ 35-7 win over the Bucs in 2009, the Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Rams in 2012, and the Chiefs’ 45-10 win over the Lions in 2015.

The 2012 New England is the largest margin of victory (38) in the UK between any two teams, but there have also been 17 contests that finished as one-score games (including the 27-27 tie between the Redskins` and Bengals in 2016).

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Bookies.com Staff for Bookies.com
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