How Arch Manning is making the Jaguars 'America’s Team' overseas
By John Buhler
Arch Manning is leading the best team in the AFC East, but will he win 2030 NFL MVP?
It took years to manifest but Roger Goodell’s pipedream of getting an NFL team in London could not have gone over any better. The London Jaguars have been a massive success since their arrival back in 2026. They are the featured team in the 9:00 a.m. ET viewing window, having replaced the hopelessly dysfunctional Dallas Cowboys as “America’s Team” because of it.
“It feels good to be 4-1 and in first place of the AFC East,” says Manning to NFL World Network analyst Alex Smith. “Being 2-0 in divisional play with wins over Buffalo and New England has us right where we want to be. Obviously, none of us like how last year ended, but we think we can get back to the AFC title bout and get to the Super Bowl for the first time.”
Despite being huge favorites at home over Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals in the 2029 AFC Championship, Manning’s four-pick game in a 51-17 rout had all of London asking for Jaguars head coach Andrew Luck to be sacked. Cincinnati lost in Super Bowl 64 to Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers at the Amazon Prime Superdome in Manning’s hometown of New Orleans.
“I think he’s bought into Daniel Jones’ Ball Control Air-Raid system,” said Luck on this week’s London Jaguars podcast press conference, presented by MeUndies. “He knows he must throw for 500 yards every game and not fumble the ball once or he’ll be benched in favor of Jordan Love. He’s finally playing like a Manning, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
It was a controversial decision for Manning to return to Ole Miss for his senior season in 2026, but he didn’t want to go to the New York Jets. Uncle Peyton called three of their games on Monday Night Football in 2025. He told Arch to stay at Ole Miss so he could win the Heisman (which he did), win the SEC (which he didn’t) and be the top pick in 2027.
It may have been inside information, but we’ll never know. Manning was hired by Tony Khan as general manager in 2026. His first move was to replace Jaguars head coach Matt Campbell ahead of their move to London with Luck. The Campbell/Brock Purdy partnership was a Blaine Gabbert/Mike Mularkey disaster. They should have drafted Justin Fields in 2021.
“We knew Arch was going to be a top-two pick like his Grandpa Red, his Uncle Eli and myself,” said Jaguars general manager Peyton Manning on MoonZoom Monday. “Having the chance to draft your nephew No. 1 overall to be the face of a franchise in a new market was too good to pass up. It’s been great so far, but he knows this is the year we gotta get it done.”
Arch won his first playoff game last year in the AFC Divisional round over Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs, but he’s 0-2 vs. Burrow’s Bengals in January and lost a heartbreaker to Tua Tagovailoa’s AFC South titan Miami Dolphins back in 2028. With nearly 3,000 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in five games, Manning has played like an MVP.
“It’s all about winning the East for the third year in a row,” said Arch Manning to Smith. “Obviously, we can’t control what we can’t control, but we’re going to do everything in our power to get that No. 1 seed again. I can promise you that on behalf of Coach Luck, Coach Jones, Uncle Peyton and Mr. Khan, we’re not losing to Cincinnati again in that situation.”
It took a few years, but the fourth Manning has played up to his family’s lofty standard.