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The NFL will announce the Jaguars 2013 London opponent on Thursday, and the 49ers are among the potential teams. Could the 49ers be London-bound next season?
This past August, the NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars announced a plan for the Jaguars to host a game in London for each of the next four seasons, starting in 2013. On Thursday, the NFL will announce the opponent for the 2013 game. I bring this up because the 49ers face the AFC South in 2013, which includes a road game against the Jaguars, and Eric Branch had some interesting comments about the potential for this game ending up in London.
As Branch pointed out, the London series has not featured a divisional opponent since it began in 2007. Additionally, there has only been one intra-conference matchup. Based on the Jaguars 2013 schedule of opponents, the non-divisional home games include the 49ers, Cardinals, Chiefs and Chargers. They will also face an AFC East opponent that finishes in the same divisional standing.
Branch noted that only one of the six international games thus far has featured opponents in the same conference. That occurred when the Bears and Buccaneers faced off last year. It is a small sample size, but if it holds up, it would seem like the 49ers and Cardinals are favorites for this game. It is worth noting that 49ers owner John York is on the International Committee. I don't know if that gives him pull on way or another, but it is at least noteworthy.