Approaching Wembley Stadium for the NFL is a unique experience – from live marching bands to demonstrations from the Jacksonville Jaguar cheerleaders and the smell of pancakes and hotdogs permeating the air, you are left with absolutely no doubt that ‘America’s Game’ has rolled into town and taken over a small corner of North London.
Fans from all teams congregate from across Europe for what is a feast of American Football and with the Jacksonville Jaguars taking on the Denver Broncos in the final game of the NFL International Series 2022, the Wembley atmosphere was vibrant to say the least!
Located in the prestigious Wembley Suite with seats directly outside the suite on the halfway line, there are few better places in the stadium from which to enjoy the game than The Green Room and our guests were in fine fettle too.
Complete with foam fingers, a full-on multi-course feast and a fantastic game to look forward to, the introduction of NFL legends Jason Bell, Fred Taylor and Ben Koyack to the stage provided great insight into the teams, tactics the game ahead.
With time ticking to kick off and the pre-game festivities ahead, we then heard from one or two special guests who joined us for the day. England rugby players Dan Cole and Harry Wells gave us their opinion on the differences between rugby and the NFL, England pace bowler Reece Topley gave his prediction for England’s T20 world cup chances and we also heard from Irish rugby star centre Bundee Aki. Also spotted in The Green Room were Manchester United legend Roy Keane, former Ireland and Celtic manager Martin O’Neill plus Love Island stars Jack Keating and George Tasker.
As guests took to their seats ahead of the ‘Duval Cry’ and rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, the atmosphere inside the stadium was simmering with excitement! A record attendance for an NFL International Series of 86,215 created a cauldron of noise as the players took to the field and it was the home team Jaguars that took the lead as QB Trevor Lawrence hit Evan Engram for the opening touchdown.
In a tightly fought contest it would however be the out of form and under pressure Denver Broncos that came out on top in a ‘come from behind’ 21-17 win. Heavily scrutinised QB Russell Wilson had one of his best games since his trade to the Broncos from Seattle this summer, throwing for 252 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos 97-yard 3rd quarter drive for a touchdown was a seriously impressive phase of offence and the fans in Broncos Country will be hoping for more of the same after a poor season so far.
For the Jaguars on the other hand, it’s back to the drawing board to try and find the right tactics for what has been an inconsistent 2022 campaign. What is for certain though is that the Jaguars are a rapidly improving franchise filled with talented young stars. In Doug Peterson they have a Superbowl winning coach and fans can be excited about their return to Wembley in 2023.
Having experienced a thrilling game, pinpoint punditry plus a feast of American fodder which included gourmet burgers, pecan pie and freshly made donuts, Green Room guests departed into the London night having revelled in all the NFL has to offer.
A sporting experience unlike any other, we can’t wait to be back in The Green Room for the NFL at Wembley next year. The Jacksonville Jaguars will be there – will you?