WATCH: Falcons learn of disadvantage for 2020 season on Tuesday

Dave Holcomb

Editor's Note: Our original story implied the Falcons will definitely be playing in London next year. In actuality, the Falcons could play in either London or Mexico City.

The NFL has been sending its teams across the Atlantic Ocean to play in London for 13 years now, and every year. It started with just one game per season, but it's since expanded to four.

Although teams still don't make the trip often, when it does pop up on the schedule, it's not something that's overly alarming anymore. However, it can still be a disadvantage.

On Tuesday, the Falcons announced that they will be playing in the NFL's International Series during the 2020 season. That could mean a trip to London or Mexico City, but the odds are in favor of London because the league currently plays 80 percent of its International games there.

This will be the Atlanta franchise's second game outside the United States, with the previous one coming against the Detroit Lions in 2014. 

Atlanta's opponent for the 2020 matchup has not been announced, but whomever the Falcons play, the contest will count as a home game for the Falcons.

In a league so close where a 1-7 team can defeat a 7-1 team, hosting only seven home games in a season can be the difference in a tight division race. 

Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons are 21-17 at home and 20-19 on the road, including the playoffs. There isn't a major difference between those records, but what's unpredictable about the London game is the travel aspect of it.

Players aren't used to flying more than five hours across five time zones before games. Some teams go over days ahead of time in order to acclimate to new surroundings, but in that case, it really won't feel like a home game for the Falcons.

But heading over at the last minute on Friday could mean the team is still jet lagged on game day. Slow starts have been very common for teams that fly to London just two days prior to the contest.

It will be interesting to see how the Falcons handle it, but even though it's a fact of life in the NFL now, losing a home game to a trip to London is a clear disadvantage.

If the game is in Mexico City, the Falcons will avoid the travel aspect of this issue, but they will still only have seven home games next year.

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