NFL London 2007 - Dolphins v Giants
The NFL London game between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins on Sunday October 27th 2007 saw history being made as it was the first ever regular season NFL game to be played outside of North America. Fans from the UK as well as other many other European countries descended on Wembley stadium to make up the 81,000 crowd and celebrate this historical event.
It was not just fans of the Giants and Dolphins who were present at Wembley; jerseys from all 32 NFL teams, as well as many College teams, NFL Europe and British American Football League players flying the flag for their own teams on home turf, could be seen enjoying the NFL game day experience in and around Wembley Stadium.
Despite the wet weather conditions in London, the spirits of the thousands NFL fans were not dampened, as a fantastic atmosphere began to build inside Wembley stadium. Live music from The Feeling preceded the teams being lead on to the field, England’s Rugby Union World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson (Miami Dolphins), and England and Chelsea captain John Terry (New York Giants), together with British Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton lead both teams on to the field. The National Anthems of both Britain and the USA were observed with the greatest respect before it was time for what everyone was there for; Kick-off – which was greeted with the loudest roar of the day!
Giants Run to Narrow Victory
The game itself was affected by the pouring rain over Wembley Stadium, with conditions proving difficult for both offences. Despite early attempts, it soon became apparent that this was not going to be a game played through the air. New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning could only manage a total of 22 pass attempts, completing eight for a total of just 59 yards. However, it was Manning who rushed for the opening touchdown of the game with a ten yard, first down rush in to the end zone with the first play after the two minute warning in the first half. This added to Lawrence Tynes first quarter field goal to put the Giants 10-0 up. Another Tynes field goal from 41 yards with just two second to go till half time put the Giants in to a commanding 13 point lead at the break.
With the emphasis on the running game, the Giants managed to keep good periods of possession, thanks largely to Running Back Brandon Jacobs who carried the ball 23 times for a total of 131 yards. However, the Giants efforts on the ground were not rewarded, failing to add any further points to their half time lead.
The Miami Dolphins came in to the game 0-8 and despite being more effective with their passing game at Wembley, struggled to score the points needed to beat the Giants. A Jay Feely field goal in the third quarter and a first career touch down for Dolphins Wide Receiver Ted Ginn was the only scores that Miami could put on the board. Despite the low score and adverse weather conditions, this game was still enjoyable because of the occasion. The London crowd, for many of whom, this was the first taste of pro football, appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves. The majority will no doubt be eager to head back to Wembley for NFL London 2008, when the New Orleans Saints take on the San Diego Chargers in what should (weather permitting) be a fantastic game.