NFL in London 2007 - Miami Dolphins vs New York Giants
First NFL Regular Season Game Played Outside the US
The first regular season National Football League (NFL) game played outside of the United States took place today (28 October 2007) in London. The venue for the game was the famous Wembley Stadium, a place more usually associated with Association Football, or soccer for short.
The weather for the game was typically British, i.e. it rained for the entire duration. Unfortunately, this did have an impact on the quality of the play, with the participants regularly losing their footing. The grass was also badly torn up in the course of play. This combination of factors of course led to turnovers and missed passes by both sides.
The teams involved in the game were the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants. Prior to this game Miami had been suffering a terrible 2007 season. They had received numerous setbacks due to injuries to key players and this had contributed to them losing all of their games (0-7). The Giants 2007 season also got off to a shaky start with back-to-back defeats against the Dallas Cowboys (away match, 35-45) and then the Green Bay Packers (home match, 35-13). However, they had then gone on to win their next five games and they were therefore favorites to win the London game with their superior 5-2 record.
As a result of the unusual and historical nature of the game, it is inevitably going to prove to be a goldmine for quiz questions. Here is a list of a few of the more notable statistics:
- In one of those curious twists of fate, the first NFL player to score points was the New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes - who was born in the UK (3 May 1978 Greenock, Scotland).
- Miami Dolphins rookie Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. caught his first career touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Lemon in the fourth quarter.
- Eli Manning, the New York Giants Quarterback, passed for a career low 59 yards. His previous worst was during his NFL regular season debut appearance on 12 September 2004, when he threw for 66 yards. He did however manage to score the first overseas touchdown, with a 10 yard run in the second quarter.
- The crowd numbered 81,176 people.
The New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13 points to 10. The Giants scored a field goal, a touchdown with a 1 point conversion and then another field goal. Miami scored a field goal and then a touchdown with a 1 point conversion.
The game was received very well in the UK and British NFL fans are fervently hoping that a regular season game in the UK becomes an annual fixture.
Full match statistics are available on the NFL official website.
Your can also read the BBC news report.