Find out what you need to know ahead of the games, which are set to take place in October.
Some of the biggest names of the NFL are set to travel to London once again in October 2023 for the London Games, which are set to be held at Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The teams set to participate this year are as follows: Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons.
Three games are set to take place in London, starting with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ clash with the Atlanta Falcons at the iconic Wembley Stadium on Sunday 1st October 2023. In the most recent NFL season, the Jaguars finished top of the AFC South table in the American Football Conference. They then went on to finish fourth in the final AFC Conference table.
As for the Falcons, they had to settle for fourth place in the NFC South last season before finishing 13th in the final NFC Conference table.
Following this game, the Jacksonville Jaguars will then travel a short distance to North London to face the Buffalo Bills at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday 8th October. Whilst the Falcons finished 4th in the NFC South, the Bills managed to finish top of the AFC East Division table, just ahead of the Miami Dolphins and finishing as runners-up in the AFC Conference and only behind the Kansas City Chiefs.
Finally, the 2023 NFL London Games will end with a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans, which will be played on Sunday, 15th October at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Baltimore Ravens enjoyed a solid season last term. They finished second in the AFC North, only behind the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens then finished 6th in the final AFC Conference table. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans finished second in the AFC South before settling for an 11th place finish in the AFC Conference table.
Some fans may be only getting into the NFL recently, and this may be the first live match they have attended. In light of this, we will now run through some of the basic rules of the sport.
The goal is to get the ball to the end zone on a pitch that is 100 yards long and 53 yards wide. Each game will consist of four 15 minute quarters with a 12 minute break for half time. Note that there are also two minute breaks at the end of the first and third quarters.
Should there be a draw, the game will not end; it will go to sudden death, and whoever scores first wins. Below is a short summary of the points that a team can receive during a game:
Touchdowns are worth 6 points – you can also get 2 points for a two point conversion.
A field goal gets a team 3 points, and points are awarded for ‘safety’, which is when a team’s defence tackles the opposition’s offensive player who has the football behind his own goal line or by making him run of ‘fumble’ the ball out of bounds behind his own goal line.
45 players make up a full team, and 11 from either side are permitted to play at any one time in the game. There are three specialised ‘units’ with a number of positions each:
- The Offense: Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Right Guard, Right Tackle, Quarterback, Wide Receivers, Running Back, Fullback and Tight Ends.
- The Defence: Defensive Ends, Defensive Tackle, Linebackers, Cornerbacks, Free Safety and Strong Safety.
- ‘Special Teams’: Kickers, Holders, Punters, Returners, Gunners, Jammers, Blockers and Snappers.
Now, we move on to some key terms you should look out for during any of these NFL London matches. A number of the basic and common terms in the sport are listed below:
- Conferences: There are two 16 team conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC), and both are made up of four divisions made up of four teams, with each division based on geography.
- Drive: When an offence makes a series of ‘plays’ towards their opposition’s end zone.
- End Zone: An end zone is where the offence throw or run the ball into to score an all-important touchdown.
- Fumble: When a player in possession loses the ball without any contact whatsoever.
- Red Zone: The space between the 20 yard line and the end zone.
- Touchdown: When the ball is on, above or behind the plane of the opponent’s goal line and is in possession of a runner or catcher who has advanced into the end zone.
- Turnover: When an offence accidentally loses the ball.
Those are just some of the terms commonly used in the NFL. With the 2023 NFL London Games edging ever closer, excitement is building for when some world-class sport takes place in the heart of England’s capital city.
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