If the NFL’s brain trust had envisioned displaying a sloppy and unentertaining matchup between the league’s perennial loser and one of their most pedestrian team’s, they should have thought twice last summer about marketing their brand on an international basis with the Dolphins and Giants being their spokespersons.
As unfortunate as it played out to be, both squads were relegated to the roll of showcasing their sport in front of 81,176 animated fans at London’s Wembley Stadium. Through the mud, rain, slippery conditions and uncountable forecast big blue prevailed in a squeaker 13-10. It was not the kind of performance coach Coughlin expected from his team that had averaged 33 points per game during the course of the past three weeks. Still, the Giants determined and didactic leader will take a victory whether he receives it state side or overseas as he molds his team into an elite force in the National Football Conference.
Lead by 290 pound running back Brandon Jacobs and former Miami Dolphin Sam Madison the Giants registered their sixth consecutive victory of the year. Jacobs rushed for a season-high 131 yards on 23 carries against the still-winless fins. Quarterback Eli Manning struggled exponentially and recorded his worst start in his brief football career. With 59 yards passing, a completion percentage of 36.4% and one fumble, Manning was unable to capitalize off a Miami defense that ranks towards the bottom of the league in many majors categories.
While the league did a poor job at acclimating Europeans to American football, they succeeded at increasing the attention and notoriety that the United States will receive in the years to come from interested owners who want a Super Bowl to be played outside of the hollow grounds of North America. Also succeeding were the Giants who improve to 6-2 and are now a half game back of the Cowboys for the lead in the NFC East.