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NFL Twickenham

The third and final game of the 2016 International Series saw the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals end in a 27-27 tie after overtime.

It marked the first time a London game was not finished in four quarters as the teams threw everything at each other, but could not finish the game off. The result leaves Washington with a 4-3-1 record, putting them at last place in a highly competitive NFC East.

The emphatic game rounds off this year’s International Series after a 27-30 win for the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Indianapolis Colts on 2nd October and a 17-10 victory for the New York Giants over the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham on 23rd October.

Attendances for all the games have been impressive, with a total of 242,373 fans showing up across all three games of the series. 

Bengals v Redskins

What were the stories of the series?

All three games saw bona fide NFL stars arrive in London, with New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr, Bengals' wideout AJ Green, Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck being the biggest.

What’s more, the Jacksonville Jaguars continued their great form in England with a huge divisional win against the Colts. While their displays this season have often left much to be desired, it’s clear that the Florida franchise feel at home in the UK as their fanbase continues to grow.

For many pundits, the Washington Redskins/Cincinnati Bengals 27-27 tie was the best of the lot. It had touchdowns, interceptions, fumbles, missed field goals and almost everything you’d want from a game besides a winner!

The New York Giants/LA Rams game was also the first to be held at Twickenham, which has signed a deal to host one game per season for the next two years. While the Rams couldn’t get their offense rolling on the night, the New York Giants did just enough for the win, intercepting LA quarterback Case Keenum four times and returning one half of the length of the pitch for a touchdown.

Giants v Rams

Who impressed?

There was a lot of great offensive and defensive play to celebrate across the three games.

In the Washington/Cincinnati matchup, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert played only his second game of the season, put up 102 yards and scored a touchdown. Superstar receiver AJ Green also had an excellent outing, reaching 121 yards and wreaking havoc on the Washington secondary.

For Washington, tight end Jordan Reed put in a great performance. With 99 receiving yards and a touchdown, he was tough to handle all day and a key target for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Jamison Crowder was another bright spark, managing 107 yards and a touchdown of his own.

The Giants/Rams game saw two of the league’s emerging superstars face off: NYG receiver Odell Beckham Jr and LA’s running back Todd Gurley. However, it was a day that saw defences rule, with New York’s defensive front working tirelessly to stop Gurley from finding space. Similarly, the Los Angeles defence, headed by the dynamic Aaron Donald, put constant pressure on quarterback Eli Manning, limiting him to 196 passing yards and zero touchdowns.

For the Jaguars, their game at Wembley may be their highlight of the season so far. Wide receiver Allen Robinson scored a touchdown on the day alongside counterpart Allen Hurns and quarterback Blake Bortles put in arguably his best performance of the season. Nevertheless, they were helped by a Colts defense that struggled to cover wideouts all day.

Overall, the 2016 International Series was a massive success and continued the NFL’s growth across the pond. Fans will now be waiting to hear about the rest of next year’s games, with New Orleans Saints vs Miami Dolphins already announced for 2017! 

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