NFL fever is catching

Written by Adam Allcroft

Last night saw the second game of the NFL season to be played at Wembley.

wembley nfl
The adopted home of a very different type of football. Photo: beefy_n1 (via Flickr)

The San Francisco 49ers destroyed the Jacksonville Jaguars, 42-10, in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley. Next year Wembley will host three games instead of two.

First up will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have a deal to play at Wembley until 2016, against marquee side Dallas Cowboys. This means stars and potential hall of famers Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware will be seen in Britain for the first time.

The second game is probably the best overall match up, with the Atlanta Falcons ‘hosting’ the Detroit Lions. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are the stars for the Falcons, while the Lions have the best wide receiver in the entire league in Calvin Johnson.

Last but not least is the match up between the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins. This game will have the most British interest due to several factors. The Raiders have two British players in their ranks, 2nd round draft pick Menelik Watson, from Manchester, and Jack Crawford from Kilburn.

The Miami Dolphins have also got British interest, as they are the second most supported NFL team in the UK, behind the New England Patriots.

The Wembley games have had a massive impact on American Football in the UK. There are currently 2.5M known NFL fans in the UK, a 30% increase from the total just two years ago. Every Wembley game has been a sell out and the Superbowl viewership has increased 75% since the Wembley games.

The games next year are sure to increase the British interest in this great American sport. Hopefully so we can have an end to the overdone jokes of “Oh it stops every two seconds.”

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