The NFL Takes a Trip Across the Pond

By Sarah Bryant

In the 2018 National Football League season, American football took a trip across the pond to appeal to UK audiences. For the past three weeks, six selected teams have traveled out of the U.S. to play in London, England.

The franchise owners have realized the potential to broaden viewership to Europe for some time now, and teams have been playing overseas since 2007. The dates and times for the 2018 U.K. games were announced this past spring, which was received by much excitement from both coasts.

This month, British fans could be seen at each game wearing team merchandise and cheering along as any American would, proving that interest in this sport has spread successfully.

The first U.K. game occurred in week six of the season on Sunday, Oct. 14. The Seattle Seahawks played a blowout game against the Oakland Raiders with a score of 27-3. With close to a 30 point lead, it was the Seahawks largest win away from home since 2015.

The following week the Tennessee Titans took on the Los Angeles Chargers. The close final score of 19-20 proved a completely different result from the previous week. The Titans came back to score a touchdown in the final minute of the game but were still unable to tie it up, giving LA the win by the skin of their teeth.

Most recently, the Philadelphia Eagles went up against the Jacksonville Jaguars and won with a score of 24-18. Eagles quarterback (and Prince-Harry-look-alike) Carson Wentz continued with the longest streak in franchise history by completing a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive games.

After the game, head coach Doug Peterson encouraged the team by saying, “Nothing’s ever given to you. You have to go earn everything. … My hat goes off to our players and our coaches for being able to come over here with the travel and being able to handle and be disciplined with that.”

The Seahawks vs. Raiders game took place at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. This was their first-year hosting, and there are plans set for continuing in future seasons. The following two games were both held at Wembley Stadium, which hosted previously.

As for the current season, these three games completed the U.K. trips. However, the scheduling for future seasons is already underway, so stay tuned for more “American-invasion” in the years to come.

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