Jaguars, 49ers to play London game in Week 8 of 2013 season

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The Jaguars are locked into playing games in London over the next four years. And, on Thursday we learned who one of their opponents would be: the 49ers.

The two teams will square off at 5 p.m. London time (1 p.m. ET) on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium, the league announced.

"By committing to play a regular-season home game in London in each of the next four years, the Jaguars will play a major role in helping grow our sport in the UK and beyond," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We think Jaguars-49ers is a matchup our fans will really enjoy and a great way to start a new era in the international development of our game."

Maybe. If the Jaguars and 49ers were set to square off in Week 8 of this season, the league might struggle to fill the stadium. Then again, it's the rare chance to watch the NFL in live fashion across the pond.

And bringing in a team like the Niners -- who are making their second trip overseas -- does provide a little star power. (Alex Smith! Justin Smith! Michael Crabtree!)

Just kidding. The Niners are fun to watch, and everyone in London better go ahead and hop aboard the train when it comes to the Jaguars. They're going to be playing over there a lot and have become kind of the de facto home team for London for the next few years as Jacksonville owner Shad Khan tries to grow his global brand.

"Everyone associated with the Jacksonville Jaguars is very much looking forward to our four home games in London through 2016, and we're particularly thrilled and honored that our first opponent will be the San Francisco 49ers," Khan said. "This is a unique and important opportunity for the Jaguars franchise, as well as for our fans and community. To share this stage in our first year at Wembley with a rising power like the 49ers will bring additional attention and respect to what we're trying to achieve as a franchise. We can't wait to see our global vision for the Jaguars become reality next season."

What'll be really interesting is whether the Jaguars still have Blaine Gabbert under center when next year rolls around. It's quite possible that, should the Jaguars continue to struggle, they'll see a massive face-lift during the offseason.

And if there's one thing that we've learned about the NFL, the interest level and watchability of any given team can swing wildly from year to year. So maybe London will get a scorcher, after all.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

 
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