The London fans were treated to a close ballgame that actually resembled much of what they’re used to: futbol. Played on a soccer-like surface, players complained about the footing, or lack thereof, that they were subjected to on the playing field. After each team had a series or two, the rest of the game was played in a driving rain that limited both team’s offensive attack to running the football. The conditions favored that of the lesser team, the Dolphins, because New York was unable to blow the game open with their explosive receivers.
Eli Manning won his 26th game of his career, and the Giants improved to 6-2 heading into their bye week. Manning was 8/22 for just 59 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Manning did have a nice scramble to score the Giants’ only touchdown. Brandon Jacobs was the offensive stud of the day, running for 131 yards on 23 carries. It was the third straight game that Jacobs has reached or eclipsed the 100 yard mark.
Although FOX cut the game in my area to Detroit/Chicago after the kickoff, I followed this game and listened to much reaction about it. Overall this was a terrible showing for the league in London. While you couldn’t expect things on international soil to go completely sound, there were many things that could not have been worse. The stats, the execution, the playing field, the weather, etc. I thought both teams would be sluggish from the jet-lag and the long travel to London, but this was way more than I expected. If the NFL is to do this again or even consider it annually, they’ll need to make some tweaks. I’m fine with a preseason game occurring on international grounds, but I question doing this to two teams during the regular season. The Giants who are a good team clearly were affected by all of this event.