2016 NFL Games in London a Huge Success
In a season filled with scandals and complications, NFL executives were probably a little apprehensive about this year’s London games. Fortunately for all, especially for NFL betting enthusiasts, these worries were unfounded.
The last of the London games was concluded in week 8, and the trans-Atlantic games turned out to be the least problematic of the season so far. Of the six teams playing in London this season, only one team traveled with a winning record, with all of the best franchises in the league remaining in the United States.
The Washington Redskin’s 27-27 tie with Cincinnati on Sunday ensured that they maintained their above-.500 record; the Sunday game was actually very entertaining, only fumbling near the end.
Looking at the statistics and analyzing the London games, the chart reveals a few interesting points and facts. For one thing, all the games were very offensive-oriented. Four teams scored on average more than 22.7 points per game (higher than the league’s average). Additionally, three teams exceeded the 355.5 yards per game average of the NFL.
Unfortunately, there were a few sloppy plays; while the NFL spread was largely normal, there were some bad pockets that couldn’t be ignored. It is also worth noting that, of the six teams that played in London in 2016, four committed penalties.
There were also a number of yards lost due to fouls, exceeding the NFL average in some cases.
Luckily for the NFL, despite the sloppy plays, the London games were very competitive, far more competitive that many of the games played Stateside. Previously, London games were being decided by a 32-17 score average; however, in 2016, that figure changed to 24-21.
That shows you just how fierce some of the games got. When the Indianapolis Colts found that they were stranded with a 17-point 4th-quarter deficit, no one expected them to deliver such a powerful comeback. They still lost the game to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the final score (30-27) was far better than Colts fans expected.
The Rams and the Giants game, played in the fourth quarter of Week 7, saw the two teams tied at the start of the 4th quarter, and the Week 8 game was just exciting.
One of the most exciting things from the London games was the Fox Broadcast at the Sunday game, during which the volume of Bengals fans shocked everyone, and for good reason. The Bengals are hardly the most interesting franchise in the NFL.
Their position (25) in the Harris Poll every year proves as much. So the excitement over their presence on Sunday showed the expanding knowledge and interest of the game overseas.
The attendance (84,488) also broke NFL records for London games. Commissioner Roger Goodell has only ramped up talk about moving the league to overseas locations. Goodell has repeatedly expressed his determination to play even more important games in London, and he is confident that London fans are ready to receive the league.
Right now, the logistics are still an issue, but they cannot stop the NFL from pursuing its agenda in London. Goodell is determined to normalize the presence of the NFL in the U.K, transforming American Football into another common facet of the sports arena in that part of the world.