They may be popular, but the NFL games in London have been, for the most part, TERRIBLE
The NFL is a staple in London. It has the infrastructure, the fans and a glorious purpose built stadium.
Still, with expansion plans to play in Germany – and possibly France and Spain – going forward, an uncomfortable truth remains: The games in London are on the whole terrible.
The uneven Atlanta Falcons clung to beat the bulky New York Jets last weekend – the ninth time that two teams with losing records have met in London.
The Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets met at Tottenham Stadium in London last weekend
The match was the ninth time two teams with defeat records have met in London
The tenth occasion takes place on Sunday. The winless Jacksonville Jaguars face the Miami Dolphins below the median at Tottenham in the 30th regular season game in the capital.
In the 28 clashes leading up to this season, neither has featured two teams that have reached the playoffs.
Since the Jags are 0-5 (0-20 actually) and the Dolphins 1-4 – not to mention the 2-3 Falcons and 1-4 Jets – let’s push the boat and do 30 of 30.
Some games are due to bad luck, games looking good when announced but teams start badly. But the franchises that regularly play in London are generally, well, bad.
The Jaguars have played seven times, the St Louis / LA Rams and Dolphins four, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Raiders, then Oakland, now Las Vegas, three.
These are the Jaguars with a playoff appearance to their name since 2007 and the Dolphins who have made the playoffs twice since 2002.
Yes, the Rams have made the playoffs three times in the past four seasons – the first a trip to the wilds after their last trip to London in 2017 – but their last playoff appearance before that was in 2004.
Tottenham Stadium provides a magnificent venue for NFL games in London
There is also a fiery fan base – people buy tickets and spend on merchandise.
The Raiders last reached the playoffs in 2016, and the Buccaneers – who lost every game in London – hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007. Until this man, Tom Brady, joined the team. last season and rewrite history again.
Of the 29 games played in London, 13 were single scorers, with the average winning margin being 14.6 points. Two teams did not disturb the scoreboard, four only scored one basket – and there was even a tie.
That’s not to say London hasn’t seen some good teams. The New York Giants won the Super Bowl after playing Game 1 at Wembley, a 13-10 victory over Miami in 2007.
There have been two teams to reach the AFC Championship (the 2012 Patriots and the 2017 Jaguars) and two more to reach the NFC Championship (the 2013 49ers and the 2017 Vikings).
Additionally, seven teams made it to the division round and five lost the Wild Card weekend.
But given that playing in London offers only a 30% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, what do those who lose think of playing there?
Few have spoken so out of place as John Harbaugh. The Baltimore Ravens coach was furious after his team’s first overseas trip in 2017.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn’t a fan of going to London for games
Cordarrelle Patterson (left) and Mike Davis of the Atlanta Falcons enjoy playing in London
âTo be honest with you – and maybe I’ll be in trouble saying this – don’t plan on going anytime soon to play again,â Harbaugh said. âSo someone else can have this job.
âSome things we have no control over,â Harbaugh explained. âWe have no control over where we stay, the distance of the bus ride, the time it takes to get to the stadium. What impact this has had, these are the things we are looking at.
No one has been as outspoken as Harbaugh. But then he was speaking after a 44-7 loss to Jacksonville.
On Sunday, following the victory over the New York Jets, Falcons running backs Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis – both of whom have played in London three times – were enthusiastic.
‘This is my third time. It’s funny. I liked it. I want to come back every week, âPatterson said.
While playing in Germany, Davis added: âIt would be on. It would be really on. I really think it would be fun. I mean, the players really like coming to London. I think we play in Mexico too. For us. , getting a game in Germany would be a great experience.
More NFL games are expected to be played in Germany, potentially in 2022
Five years ago, former NFL executive vice president international Mark Waller was convinced that a British franchise would be in place by 2022. This notion is now a fantasy.
The NFL is on the move, using the British model as a petri dish.
It is no longer mandatory to play abroad if a team wishes to host a Super Bowl. But as part of the expanded 17-game regular season, the NFL will play at least four games outside the United States each season starting in 2022. Even the Green Bay Packers – the only one of the 32 teams not to play in. abroad – could be forced to play on foreign ground.
Two will take place at Spurs with Mexico – which has already hosted three games – Canada and Germany the other candidates.
This week, the NFL announced that three German cities – DÃ¼sseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich – are under consideration to host a regular season game, potentially in 2022.
And with teams free to market and market overseas starting next year, they can make deals to play outside of the United States as well. It could see the Jaguars playing again at Shad Khan’s dream house at Wembley.
But it doesn’t matter where the games are played in Europe: they are a lesser and diluted product.
Too often teams start out slowly and are unable to recover. Some are unable to finish. They look lethargic, jet lagged. It’s no surprise that most teams now arrive on the Friday morning before the game.
As long as fans buy tickets and merchandise, the NFL will continue with plans for global expansion. It’s just a question of whether fans will tire of watching.
NFL IN LONDON
Team records before London. Playoff teams (16/56) in bold
2007: Giants (5-2) against dolphins (0-7)
2008: Chargers (3-4) against the Saints (3-4)
2009: Patriots (4-2) against the buccaneers (0-6)
2010: Broncos (2-5) against 49ers (1-6)
2011: Ours (3-3) against Boucaniers (4-2)
2012: Patriots (4-3) against Aries (3-4)
2013: Steelers (0-3) vs. Vikings (0-3)
2013: 49ers (5-2) against the Jaguars (0-7)
2014: Dolphins (1-2) vs. Raiders (0-3)
2014 : Lioness (5-2) against hawks (2-5)
2014 : Cowboys (6-3) against the Jaguars (1-8)
2015: Jets (2-1) vs. Dauphins (1-2)
2015: Bills (3-3) against Jaguars (1-5)
2015: Lions (1-6) v. Chefs (2-5)
2016: Colts (1-2) v Jaguars (0-3)
2016: Giants (3-3) against Aries (3-3)
2016: Washington (4-3) vs. the Bengals (3-4)
2017: Jaguar (1-1) against the Ravens (2-0)
2017: Saints (1-2) against dolphins (1-1)
2017: Cardinals (3-3) v Rams (4-2)
2017: Vikings (5-2) against browns (0-7)
2018: Seahawks (2-3) against the Raiders (1-4)
2018: Titans (3-3) vs. Chargers (4-2)
2018: Jaguars (3-4) v. Eagles (3-4)
2019: Raiders (2-2) vs. Bears (3-1)
2019: Buccaneers (2-3) vs. Panthers (3-2)
2019: Bengals (0-7) vs. Rams (4-3)
2019: Texans (5-3) vs Jaguars (4-4)
2021: Jets (1-4) vs. Falcons (2-3)
2021: Dolphins (1-4) vs. Jaguars (0-5)