NFL London 2024: What you need to know

Find out what you need to know ahead of the games, which are set to take place this Autumn.

Some of the biggest names of the NFL are set to travel to London once again in Autumn 2024 for the London Games, which are set to be held at Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The teams that are confirmed to be participating are as follows: Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars who play in London for the eleventh time.

The Bears and the Vikings will be playing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, whilst the Jaguars will play at Wembley Stadium.

With all teams participating in the 2024 NFL London Games yet to be confirmed, fixtures are set to be announced later in the year.

In the current NFL season, the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves second in the American Football Conference (AFC) South, just behind group leaders Baltimore Ravens as of the time of writing.

As for the Minnesota Vikings, they sit 3rd in the National Football Conference (NFC) North, with the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions ahead of them in second and first place respectively. (This is as of the time of writing).

Finally, the Chicago Bears currently occupy fourth place in the NFC North, just behind the Vikings.

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 2024 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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