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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019

London Balling: 6 of the best from NFL London

The NFL International Series returns to London again this year. We take a look at six of the best plays from previous match-ups.

A fan of Tom Brady of the New England Patriots takes a picture on Wembley Way in 2009.
A fan of Tom Brady of the New England Patriots takes a picture on Wembley Way in 2009.
Image: Clive Gee/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ASKING TEAMS TO give up a home game and travel thousands of miles to play in, usually, miserable conditions might seem a little unfair but it also means NFL fans this side of the pond get a chance to see pro-football on their doorstep and that’s an opportunity not to be missed.

This weekend, the St. Louis Rams host the New England Patriots in the first of the three games, over three years, they have signed up for. While it may be the Rams’ first trip across the pond, New England have been here before, emerging 35 – 7 winners over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009.

Ahead of the game, we picked six of our favourite plays from previous NFL London games:

Eli Manning scores the first touchdown at Wembley

This was a game played in horrendous conditions. So bad was the rain, that Eli Manning could only make 22 pass attempts, completing eight for 59 yards.  Manning did, however, score the first NFL London touchdown, with this 10 yard run into the corner of the endzone.

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Ladainian Tomlinson is left uncovered

The Saints may have gone on to win the game 37-32 but they completely forgot to cover LT before the Chargers running back beat four would be tacklers to find the endzone and get his team back into the game.

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Tom Brady has always loved passing to tight ends

After the 69 point thriller in 2008, hopes were high that the Patriots and Buccaneers could put on a similar showing in 2009. Alas, this game was one-sided from the start with Tom Brady’s pass to Benjamin Watson showing the Pats relied on tight ends well before the arrival of Gronk and Hernandez.

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This Tebow guy could go places

In a game that was marred by the appearance of My Chemical Romance during the opening ceremony, a rookie backup quarterback came on to score a rushing touchdown for the Denver Broncos. I wonder what ever happened to Tim Tebow?

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Winslow TD is not enough for the Buccaneers

You really have to ask why – other than the money – the Buccaneers bother with the Wembley game. Despite this touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to Kellen Winslow they still lost 24 – 18 to the Chicago Bears.

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Matt Forte is very good at running

Of course, the main reason the Bears won last year’s game was this magnificent 32-yard touchdown by Chicago running back Matt Forte. He might be stinking up fantasy teams right now, but this run shows what a game-changer he can be.

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The Redzone: Eli becoming a Giant among men

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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