Beginning in 2007, the NFL has played regular season games in London to promote the sport. According to stlouisrams.com, the St. Louis Rams have made a deal to play in London for the next three seasons. Their first match-up is against the New England Patriots.
At first glance, it would seem this match-up is a bad idea. The Rams managed only two wins last year, one of which was by one point against the 4-12 Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, the Patriots captured the No. 1 seed in the AFC and are the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl this year. It would be a complete blow out. And that is the beauty of the game.
It's no surprise that casual NFL fans love the high scoring games. In this game, the Patriots would decimate the Rams. The fans over in London would be treated to Tom Brady picking apart the secondary of the Rams. They would see Sam Bradford try to get through the Patriots defense, and most likely fail at it. The score could easily be 35-7, and that's being generous.
However, what happens if the Rams have a bounce back season? The fans in London then would be treated to a prime time game. Imagine if the Rams would defeat the Patriots. It would be the top story on ESPN, NFL Countdown, and SportsCenter. London would get coverage that has not been seen in any game across the pond so far.
The NFL may have lost some of its international fans because of the lockout earlier in the season. But by having the possibility of a shootout or a marquee match-up, the executives are finally showing some common sense.