A bumper crowd and a full day of entertainment as the NFL bowed out at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 31 October 2018
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A record crowd of 85,870 NFL fans descended on Wembley Stadium to enjoy an electric atmosphere as the Philadelphia Eagles sealed a 24-18 victory against Jacksonville Jaguars, writes Jacob Ranson.
The third and final match of the International Series was a good one as there was a mix of Eagles, Jaguars and first-time supporters in the crowd, which made up the biggest attendance for an NFL match in the UK.
For myself it was my first live American Football match and it lived up to expectations – electric, with plenty of entertainment.
It was a full day out, with a fan zone open before the match, American merchandise for sale everywhere and that was before even getting into the ground.
Inside were cheerleaders, bands and supporters taking on challenges during half-time, not forgetting both the American and English national anthems being sung by choirs.
The match had a somewhat Super Bowl atmosphere, with all the off-pitch value, and build-up, but the action between the Jags and Eagles struggled to live up to its billing.
The Eagles eased past a Jags team that began the season dreaming of winning it all, but who will now struggle to even make the play-offs.
The Jaguars came within minutes of the Super Bowl last season only to be overhauled by the Tom Brady-inspired New England Patriots, who then lost to the Eagles.
These two sides went into the big occasion after struggling starts to the new campaign and I’m sure the Eagles will be hoping that can kickstart their season.
Back to the day out, though, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It may not have been the best game, but the way American sports operate is amazing to me.
There is so much going on, and so much put into it. As part of the press pack I was constantly handed stats sheets to keep me up to date with exactly how each player was performing.
I also managed to bag myself a new shirt as they were firing them up into the stands. One happened to come into the press box and I managed to catch it!
Overall, I would say the three matches at Wembley were a success, as they all sold out and had to have extra seating put in.
I’m sure it will only continue to grow across the UK and sell-out again next season.