A Brief Guide to NFL UK 2018

October 14, 2018

 

The NFL returns to London over the next three weeks, showcasing some of the sports finest athletes at Wembley Stadium.

 

Having spent 3 years living and studying at Wembley, as well as attending multiple NFL International Series games over the last few years. We thought we'd share with you some brief knowledge in regards to this years NFL UK teams, the stadium and what you can do if you're travelling down to London for any of the three games.

 

Games:

14/10/2018 - Seattle Seahawks V Oakland Raiders
21/10/2018 - Tennessee Titans V Los Angeles Chargers

28/10/2018 - Philadelphia Eagles V Jacksonville Jaguars

The Teams

 

Six teams travel to London this year, including the current Super Bowl Champions. Currently, four of the six teams have a winning record, with the other two facing each other in the first of three games.

 

Seattle Seahawks:

Seattle go into the opening NFL London game on the back of a close 33-31 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, who are one of the favourites to win the Super Bowl.

 

After losing their opening two games, Seattle bounced back with wins over the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals.

 

Russell Wilson is the key player for Seattle, who in recent years has turned Seattle into a more pass-focused franchise after the departure of Marshawn Lynch in 2015. With 'The Legion of Boom' also no more. Wilson will have to be on top form if Seattle are wanting playoff football.

 

Oakland Raiders:

With only one win so far this season, Oakland are already looking like they won't make playoff football this year, especially with divisional rivals the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers putting in some fine displays.

 

Oakland's only win of the season came in a dramatic 45-42 overtime win at home to the Cleveland Browns, but have struggled to put points up on the board in their other games.

 

Derek Carr and Amari Cooper will need to rekindle their form from a couple of seasons ago if Oakland are going to start putting up 24+ points per game in an effort to help their team become a winning one.

 

Tennessee Titans:

The Titans have been one of the surprise packages so far this season. With wins over both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, many would have thought Mike Vrabel's team could go far into the post-season.


However, a shock 13-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills means that Tennessee still have a lot of work to do on the field if they are to make it to the playoffs, with 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota being central to that.

 

Los Angeles Chargers:

The Chargers are looking for post-season football once again. With Quarterback Philip Rivers having weapons such as Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and of course, Antonio Gates at his disposal.

 

The last time The Chargers visited London was back in 2008 when they were the San Diego Chargers. On the day it was a 37-32 loss against the New Orleans Saints.

 

Philadelphia Eagles:

The Super Bowl Champions head to London! Philadelphia have had a rather slow start to the new season after winning their first Super Bowl, with losses against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Carson Wentz is back and fit, gaining his first win of the season on Thursday night in a 34-13 win at the New York Giants. They will now look to push on, make the playoffs, and defend their title.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Technically the home team when it comes to the NFL and London. Jacksonville have travelled to England every year since they first appeared in 2013. In London, Jacksonville have won three, losing two. However, all of these wins have came in the last three seasons, showing great form on British soil.

 

Jacksonville's defence is arguably the scariest in football, with them currently ranked as the best defence this season, allowing only 292.2 yards per game. Last season they came out with 55 sacks, the second most in the NFL, giving the Jaguars defence the nickname 'Sacksonville'.

 

If Jacksonville want to make it further than last seasons AFC Championship game, they will need the defence to step up once more.

The Stadium

 

Wembley Stadium will be home to all three NFL UK games this season.

 

The 90,000 multi-purpose venue has no bad seats when watching a sport like American Football, there's no surprise the stadium has a 4/4 star rating by UEFA.

 

Fun fact: The stadium has more toilets than any other stadium in the world. There are 2,618 to be precise.


The concourses inside the stadium offer a variety of food and drink options. You'll be able to purchase hot food like hot dogs, pizza and burgers, as well as smaller snacks such as popcorn and candy floss.

 

For those looking to drink at the game, make sure you take plenty of money, with the standard pint of Carlsberg costing you around £5.

What to Do

 

When the NFL comes to London, the whole city lights up. For all the latest news regarding events in London regarding the NFL. It is best to follow the NFL UK Twitter.

 

If you are spending a weekend in London for the event and want a taste of America, find one of the six Chipotle stores in the city, serving some of America's finest burritos and tacos.

 

The London Designer Outlet in Wembley Park is another area which you can visit on gameday, with many of the stores offering great discounts on their products. There are also many restaurants in the outlet, from Nando's and Prezzo to TGI Fridays.

 

If you are attending the Jacksonville Jaguar game, make sure you download the Official Jaguar UK mobile app. There will be appearances from some of the Jaguars players at the Brent Civic Centre in Wembley on Saturday 27th at 12:30pm. This will be a free event and is something we would highly advise.

 

Make sure you arrive in the Wembley Park area early on in the morning if you want to make the most out of your experience. Live television broadcasts and official team marching bands will be walking around the fan zones offering great entertainment all day long.

 

If you are looking for somewhere to drink in the Wembley Park area, here are some pubs and bars that we recommend:

 

The Torch, HA9 9AB - Part of the Flaming Grill sports pub chain.

The Green Man, HA9 8DF - Lively event day traditional British pub. Great prices.

Watkin's Folly, HA9 0EW - Irish Bar. Big screen sports and fantastic drinks available.

J.J. Moon's, HA9 6AA - Wetherspoons pub. The cheapest drinks you'll find in the area.

Game Predictions

 

Seattle Seahawks : 27 - 17 : Oakland Raiders

Oakland have struggled to put up points on the board this year, while Seattle have just started to put in some strong performances, only just losing out to the Rams in game week 5. Marshawn Lynch to get a rushing touchdown against his old team?

 

Tennessee Titans : 13 - 24 : Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles have too much firepower for Tennessee. This game could be close with the Titans resolute defence, and the Chargers strong pass rush and coverage. This will be a close game going into the half, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers should come out on top here.

 

Philadelphia Eagles : 17 - 20 : Jacksonville Jaguars

Another close game. This game could go either way and could go to overtime. Jacksonville have struggled to score big in a couple of their games this year, but so have Philadelphia. Jacksonville to make it four wins in their last four visits to London.

We hope this guide will be useful if you are either watching live at Wembley Stadium or at home on the television.

 

If you found this article useful, please like and share. Also, if you would like to find out more information about the NFL UK, you can do so by going on the website of the NFL UK.

 

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