It’s NFL time again in London and you might be wondering where game 1’s feature went. Well, Seattle and Oakland was only the second London NFL game I have missed, the first being the inaugural game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants back in 2007.
But here again at Wembley, my preferred venue easily ahead of Twickenham, the NFL didn’t fail to disappoint. Granted there have been games where one franchise has run away with it, but when these games are announced no one can predict which way they will go and what form teams are in when they arrive here.
Whilst the Chargers are in decent form, the Titans are blowing hot and cold as we enter the winter months. Led by the impressive Philip Rivers, Los Angeles look a good bet to make the play offs despite Kansas City sitting at 6-1, the remaining two in the division look well out of contention.
The game itself looked to be in the control of the Chargers for most of the four quarters, until the Titans made a game of it despite a poor play call in the final few seconds that could have seen Tennessee take the game to overtime, instead going home with a 20-19 loss to move to 3-4 but strangely not out of contention in their division. Being the NFL though, you’re never out of it until you’re mathematically out of it!
The two sides meeting this coming Sunday will also have designs on the play offs having had good campaigns last year and with the Superbowl Champions in the shape of the Philadelphia Eagles in town, that one promises to be a good match up with Jacksonville despite indifferent starts from both franchises.
One of the most asked questions every year is whether London or England will get an NFL franchise. And every year it doesn’t go away, just merely raises it’s head again. In my mind it will be here before 2025 which gives enough time to work a schedule to fit a team being in London. Over the years of games so far they have pushed and pulled logistics and schedules to make things fit, the potential is undoubted given the ability to sell out every game.
Some people I feel seem to lose sight with the fact that if/when the franchise lands over here they won’t be playing the best teams every week and over the course of the past few years I would admit the match ups on paper don’t look the best in terms of pulling power. But this is what a season schedule looks like and credit the NFL for trying everything to make sure it all fits in place.
After this weekend’s game, only the Packers, Panthers and Texans have yet to visit these shores and you almost want to guarantee they will be here next year is what is believed to be a 4 game year, amounting to half a home season, once again more progress on what we have already seen with two held at both Tottenham and Wembley.
Whatever is delivered over the coming years, I’ve managed to witness the prime of many quarterbacks over the past 11 years and hopefully with more to come, long may the growth of the game in this country continue, especially as this is still a competition for teams to win, not just the elite……………….