London witnessed one of the best performances the NFL had to offer last season when the New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 45-7 in England’s Wembley Stadium. League poster boy, Tom Brady, put a flat-beatdown on the pitiful Rams — Do spectators really enjoy blowouts? Fans in England are only able to see one NFL game a year, shouldn’t it be competitive?
Europe goes into a frenzy when the two-teams fly “across the pond” to showcase America’s other, and arguably real, pastime. This Sunday, fans will gather at Wembley to see the Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Minnesota Vikings as both clubs hope to avoid going 0-4 on the season.
As a hot dog eating, grilling, bald eagle riding, flag waving American; I feel NFL games outside of the U.S should showcase how entertaining and competitive American Football can be.
Granted the NFL didn’t assume Vikings and the Steelers would both cross the Atlantic winless, there was no evidence that the two-teams would be amongst the worst in the league. The Vikings, behind the abysmal Christian Ponder at quarterback are 19th in total offense and Ben Roethlisberger, also known as ‘Big Ben’, commanders the Steelers into London as the 28th rated offense in the NFL; only three teams have sputtered worse offensively.
Never fear, England, Adrian Peterson can go beastmode All Day overseas, too. Although he’s off to a slow start this season, he’ll be able to give London their money’s worth; regardless of the exchange rate (haha). Only a single game over 100 yards and is still fifth in all of football means Peterson is due to put on a show for the expected 90,000 at Wembley on Sunday.
Prediction: Vikings over Steelers, 31-17. Minnesota plays without the pressure of the home fans and the Vikings talented roster comes to life in London — There won’t be any short-falls as there has been in the previous two-weeks. Peterson will rush for more than 120 yards as he did eight-times last year, giving the Vikings and their fans hope that the playoffs aren’t completely out of reach and the team can still compete for a chance to win the NFC North division.
Neither of these teams are the cream-of-the-crop. The NFL moving forward should focus on selecting teams that will make for a competitive matchup — one that may end up in what the English refer to as ‘added time’. If the score remains close fans around the World are more likely to watch with sweaty palms at the edge of their seats.
Fortunately, those in attendance at Wembley will have the fortune of seeing a current, and potentially future, all time NFL great play running back — the one Vikings fans call All-Day. Behind Peterson, expect the Vikings to come back to America no longer winless and continue the goal of making it back to the playoffs as they did last season.