Two NFL games will be played in London in 2021. This weekend, the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New York Jets. You might be thinking, "Gee, that matchup is awful!" We should show London what our sport has to say if we really want to grow the sport.
That's a great point. The NFL has played at least one London game every year since 2007, except for 2020. They send great teams. They don't often. Since 2013, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been playing across the Atlantic every season. Is that possible?
You would expect that London has had a record of at least.500 for every team since 2007, but I was curious. London seems to always get the bottom of the barrel. Are we really sending low-end teams across this pond?
I then compiled the win-loss records of every team that played in London. I compared the seasons and compared them. The NFL might be getting unlucky in scheduling teams, I thought. These were probably great teams that had good seasons last year, but they experienced down years the year after playing in London. When scheduling, the NFL cannot predict such things.
For every team, the win-loss record was 428-466 in the year preceding they were to play in London. This is a.479 win rate, which is a significant drop from the.500 mark that we had hoped for. There were some ties, but I decided to eliminate them from the equation because ties are a sin within the sports world. The combined records for the year in question drop to 411-481, which is a.461 win rate.
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The NFL doesn't always put on its best Sunday face in Europe.
This is not the fault of all NFLs. Volunteers run the London home teams. These teams receive huge incentives to travel across the pond to play their home games. This usually attracts smaller-market teams like the Jaguars or Tampa Bay (pre-Tom Brady). Lower-level teams tend to sell out their home games less often than those that do. This makes perfect sense. Fans don't want to see their team lose. As long as the NFL's policy allows teams to volunteer to play in London games, these games will be low-level.
The Jets/Falcons game isn't really a storyline. Other than Zach Wilson looking good against the Titans, there isn't much else. He can't keep up that pace. I doubt it. Wilson looked almost like he was playing backyard baseball on many plays. You can see that he was forced to think outside the box on many occasions. This is a sign that your system doesn't work for your team's strengths. Robert Saleh, the Jets' head coach, is not to blame for failing to create a system around Wilson. It's not an easy task for a rookie quarterback to work with a head coach, but it will take time before we see consistent results from Wilson.
Calvin Ridley's absence is another major storyline in the London game. The Falcons' star receiver Calvin Ridley will not be able to attend the game due to personal reasons. This could allow Kyle Pitts to make a splash. Pitts, despite being the fourth-round pick in the NFL draft, has been disappointing this year in terms of his production. He hasn't recorded more than five catches in one game since his time at the University of Florida and has not yet reached the end zone in his NFL career.
This is not unusual. High-profile college tight ends often struggle to make it in the professional world. T. J. Hockensons rookie season? He won his first game and was then hibernated the remainder of the season. Similar struggles were experienced by Noah Fant. In his rookie year, he didn't see any game with more that five receptions. Pitts is expected to play a big game this weekend, despite all that.
Matt Ryan will have to rely upon Olamide Zaccheaus and Cordarelle Patterson in passing attack without Ridley. Although I am aware of how great Patterson has been this season, that's not a very good group. Pitts is one of the most gifted players in this group and should make for a difficult matchup for the Jets. This Sunday is the perfect time for this gifted rookie to shine.
The premier matchup in Week 5 is Buffalo at Kansas City. This is a rematch from last years AFC Championship Game. Kansas City's reputation could be at stake. It is amazing how fast people forget how great a team K.C. It is amazing how quickly people forget just how good a team K.C. Do you remember when the Golden State Warriors bought Kevin Durant? Then, they lost the first game of their season to the San Antonio Spurs. Pepperidge Farm still remembers. They also recall all the comments made by fair-weather fans claiming that the Warriors were over. They won the championship that season.
Tom Brady? Although he has a record of 2-2 in six seasons, nobody believed that his time in the NFL was over when he began the season slow. These games are irrelevant right now. The Chiefs are currently one game behind the division leader. They'll be fine. However, I know the Twitterverse will be mad if the Chiefs lose to Buffalo. It's there, I can see it. Patrick MaFraud: Kansas City's dynasty has ended, Buffalo is now the new K. C.
Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah! Be calm, okay?
I get it. Everyone is looking for reasons not to like the Chiefs. They are really good, as they have been for quite a while, and nothing is more satisfying than watching the best fall. However, just because they begin a season 2-3 with losses to three of the top teams in the NFL does not mean that they aren't Super Bowl contenders. The Chiefs would have been 3-1 if it wasn't for Clyde Edwards Helaire's fumble in the final game against Baltimore. We all knew how difficult this year was going to be for the Chargers. It is shocking to me that Kansas City has already fallen out of the top-five league teams.
Kansas City can score from any position on the field at any time. A team that has this ability will always be in the top ten of the NFL. Kansas City should be hungry to win their second consecutive week. I believe they will win. Although Buffalo has been great over the past three weeks, they have won games against Houston and Washington. They won't win against the Chiefs and Tyreek Hill scores two touchdowns and 100 yards in the first quarter. Can Buffalo win? Yes. They are extremely talented but Kansas City is not going to let them down. They'd still be one the most dangerous teams in the NFL, even with a 2-3 record.