|Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Date: Sunday, 10 October Kick-off 14:30 BST Protection: Prolonged TV highlights, video clips and dwell textual content commentary (TV highlights obtainable from 22:05 BST on Pink Button, BBC Sport web site & app, and BBC One and iPlayer from 00:35 on Monday)|
|Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Date: Sunday, 17 October Kick-off 14:30 BST Protection: Stay on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 14:00, plus dwell textual content commentary|
The NFL returns to London after a two-year hole with the thirst for the gridiron as robust as ever within the UK and back-to-back video games going down on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The New York Jets tackle the Atlanta Falcons first up on Sunday, earlier than a Florida derby involves London per week later with the Jacksonville Jaguars internet hosting the well-known Miami Dolphins.
Ticket gross sales have nonetheless been robust although there is not going to be as many American followers flying over due to Covid-19 restrictions, and though the same old off-field occasions could also be extra muted, the joy ranges are nonetheless palpable amongst UK NFL followers determined to see their heroes within the flesh as soon as once more.
Gamers and coaches are embracing the video games however it’s much more of a business-trip environment nowadays, with groups often solely arriving on Friday and heading again proper after the sport. With the added pandemic issue, a flying go to makes much more sense this 12 months.
Covid remains to be round, with the odd participant lacking video games right here and there, however the NFL has accomplished a significantly better job in having gamers vaccinated with figures revealed by the league on 7 October stating that 93.3% of gamers had been vaccinated.
That’s in stark distinction to fewer than half of Premier League and EFL footballers getting the jab.
Rookie quarterbacks to mild up London?
The Jaguars and Jets could have been the 2 worst groups within the NFL final season, however that enabled them to take the highest two picks in April’s draft when deciding on quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson to guide their revivals.
Lawrence is touted as the very best rookie QB of a technology however he has the hardest job on a staff in want of an entire overhaul, and with faculty teaching legend City Meyer having a sticky begin to his first NFL job.
Having already misplaced as many video games within the NFL than he did in his total faculty and highschool profession, Lawrence should do higher however there have been some promising indicators. Towards a struggling Miami he can present London what he’s actually made from.
Wilson has what NFL specialists name “main arm expertise” in that he can actually let it fly, as he confirmed when throwing essentially the most yards a Jets QB has managed for 2 years of their spectacular win over Tennessee final Sunday.
The 22-year-old could have been the second decide, however he’s on a greater staff and displaying extra promise proper now to be primary within the efficiency charts in London over the following two Sundays.
London guests are historically strugglers
Of the 28 video games performed in London since 2007 there has by no means been a recreation involving two groups with a successful report, and earlier than the primary recreation this 12 months, the 4 franchises set to play within the UK capital are a mixed 3-13. The Jaguars are 0-4 and on a determined 19-game dropping streak general.
The Jets and Jaguars mixed for less than three wins final season and are in the beginning of a serious rebuilding course of, one thing which seems loads smoother moving into New York than Jacksonville because of Jets coach Robert Saleh not attracting the detrimental press his reverse quantity Meyer has.
Atlanta have a star veteran quarterback in Matt Ryan however not a lot else owing to some dire issues with the wage cap that has seen the expertise pool of their squad diminish considerably.
Among the many many issues for the Jets and Falcons, the standout points are clear – the Jets have scored the fewest factors within the league (47) whereas the Falcons have conceded essentially the most (128).
Extra of a thriller are the Dolphins, who solely simply missed the play-offs final season with a 10-6 report and have a staff first rate sufficient to go a step additional. They might be the one one among 4 you would see making a run, if they will get their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa again wholesome and taking part in nicely once more.
Jaguars nonetheless London’s staff – however a staff IN London stays unlikely
The Jaguars are common guests to London and at one stage it appeared that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was decided to see a everlasting franchise hosted within the UK.
4 video games a 12 months have been held in London in 2017 and 2019 to simulate half of an everyday season, and many house owners within the league have been behind the plan and felt it was inevitable regardless of the various logistical issues concerned.
Nonetheless, there now appears to have been a change in technique because the NFL seems to go absolutely world, with the league seeking to Germany to host one of many 4 video games to be performed outdoors the USA every year. Two will keep in London, and the opposite stays in Mexico.
All 32 groups may also be given the possibility to embark on a advertising and marketing blitz in set places across the globe to drum up an increasing number of loyal followers. Having followers assist a staff fairly than simply the league is seen as key to rising the game – and that appears to have taken precedence over having a staff in London completely.
The Jaguars will stay London’s adopted aspect for now, although, and their followers have been constructing with their continued presence within the UK video games. That reputation shall be put to the take a look at towards the Dolphins although – who’re the most well-liked NFL staff within the UK, in accordance with a YouGov ballot taken this summer season.
A Florida derby being performed out in north London remains to be an indication that this can be a sport nonetheless on the rise.