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NFL International Series 2015, Jets v Dolphins

The glitz and glamour of the NFL arrived at Wembley once again last month, with the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins kicking off a trio of mouthwatering gridiron tussles.

Here's our quick look at all three games, which may have yielded some priceless results when it comes to qualifying for the post-season.

 

New York Jets 27-14 Miami Dolphins

The opening game of this year's International Series saw the New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins in front of a full house at Wembley.

A strong start from the Jets was led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who sent a stunning 58-yard pass to former Dolphin Brandon Marshall in New York's first attacking play.

They were ahead two plays later when Chris Ivory surged over the line, before Nick Folk added two field goals to leave the Jets firmly in control.

Jake Stonebacker responded with an eight-yard touchdown at the other end but Miami continued to labour.

Another sublime pass from Fitzpatrick allowed Eric Decker to reach the endzone, handing the Jets a 20-7 lead at half time.

The third quarter began in much the same vein, with Zac Stacy finishing an impressive 78-yard drive to force his way over and extend New York's lead.

A long punt from Jarvis Landry early in the fourth quarter set Miami up on the Jets’ side of the field, allowing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to find Kenny Stills for a touchdown and set up a tense finish.

Greg Jennings thought he'd added to Miami's total when he pulled in another Tannehill touchdown pass, only for the play to be wiped out by an offensive pass interference penalty.

New York made the most of that reprieve, with several superb interceptions proving enough to earn them a third victory of the season.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 Buffalo Bills

A dramatic finish saw the Jacksonville Jaguars earn a 34-31 win over the Buffalo Bills.

A late touchdown from Allen Hurns was enough to see the Jacksonville Jaguars edge past the Buffalo Bills in a momentous 34-31 win at Wembley on Sunday.

It is Jacksonville's first win at Wembley in three attempts and leaves the Bills, who came into this contest as favourites, ruing a number of early opportunities having taken the lead with Dan Carpenter's field goal.

But the Jaguars, who came into this contest with just one win in the regular season, responded emphatically, scoring 27 unanswered points in six minutes.

Quarterback Blake Bortles got them on their way by finding Tony Washington for a 10-yard touchdown to put his side up 7-3 up.

Buffalo quarterback EJ Manuel then gave up three turnovers to leave the Jaguars in the ascendancy, first fumbling to allow defensive end Chris Clemons to run the ball in from six yards, before being picked off by Telvin Smith to run in from 26 yards.

A miserable afternoon for Manuel was compounded when he was intercepted again by Clemons for another touchdown.

TJ Yeldon, who ran for 115 yards, then went over with a 26-yard run to hand Jacksonville a 27-3 lead.

Manuel, deputising for the injured Tyrod Taylor, did restore some pride before half time by finding Robert Woods in the end zone, cutting the deficit to 27-13 at half-time.

A field goal for Buffalo in the third quarter cut the arrears to 11 points with 15 minutes to go and Jacksonville, short of confidence on the back recent form, began to look increasingly nervy inside the final quarter offering little on offense.

With 6:41 remaining on the clock, the resurgent Manuel went deep to find Marcus Easley with a 58-yard touchdown to reduce the lead to 27-24.

The game was set up for a thrilling finish and a minute later Bortles saw his pass intercepted by Corey Graham, who ran 44 yards for a touchdown.

But the Bills were to be denied victory at the death when Bortles redeemed himself by taking the ball down the field before finding Allen Hurns, who dived over to clinch the win

 

Kansas City Chiefs 45-10 Detroit Lions

The Kansas City Chiefs are celebrating after ruthlessly beating the Detroit Lions in the final match of the NFL International Series at Wembley on Sunday (November 1st).

Spearheaded by the accuracy and smart running of quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs were never threatened by a poor Lions team that struggled to build any kind of momentum over the four quarters. 

After going behind to a field goal, the Chiefs took control of the game thanks to some precise and intelligent throws from Smith. Rather than risking any interceptions with long throws, Smith kept his passes short and completed 20 of his 28 pass attempts and threw two touchdown passes. The former 49ers quarterback also racked up 78 yards with his feet and made his way into the endzone for a rushing score.

Charcandrick West had a big day in the running game, reaching 97 yards and powering into the endzone for a touchdown. De’Anthony Thomas was also a threat throughout the day, picking up 100 points combined on the ground and in the air, along with a rushing touchdown of his own. In the second half, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin both caught touchdown passes to put the game beyond any doubt.

On the defensive side, defensive end Justin Houston and cornerback Sean Smith were two of the stars for Kansas City, picking up an interception each and stopping Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was sacked twice.

Stafford struggled all day because of a weak offensive line and some terrible decision making. His sole touchdown was thrown to Lance Moore in the fourth quarter, but it was a case of too little too late for the Lions, who could not find a way back into the game.

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