Jaguars vs. Ravens in London: More Highlights than Viewers


The week 3 matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens in London features two of the best defenses in the NFL.  The game is a showcase for defensive execution and play-making talent.  And no one cares.

The Jaguars lead the league in sacks with 11.  The Ravens lead the league in takeaways with 10. Both defenses rank in the NFL’s top 5 for interceptions, forced fumbles and sacks.  This sort of impressive showdown is usually cause for celebration and excitement, week-long analysis and debate.  However, timing and offense overshadow an otherwise intriguing showdown.

Kickoff in Wembley Stadium at 9:30 am est alienates a majority of potential viewers.  Many fans will be sleeping, especially those on the west coast, or just waking up.  The early kickoff also means most sports bars and restaurants where fans meet to watch the NFL are closed, eliminating a major motivation for many casual fans.  On top of the game being early, it is also likely to be slow.  Strong defenses usually lead to less scoring and more time stoppages.

Poor offensive potential will limit viewership even more than the early kickoff.  There are concerns surrounding both quarterbacks, with Joe Flacco’s back injury and Blake Bortles’ inconsistency.  There are concerns surrounding both offensive lines, with Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda and Jacksonville’s Brandon Linder both injured in week 2.  With both offenses lacking fire power, they alienate another large portion of NFL viewership, fantasy football participants.

The Jaguars vs. Ravens game features an uncommon amount of electrifying edge rushers, hard-hitting linebackers, and ball-hawking defensive backs on both teams.  There is highlight reel potential all over the field.  With most football fans lacking sleep and motivation, however, there is little reason to believe many will see it.

If the Jaguars win but no one is around to see it, does it still count?