Falcons beat Jets as the NFL returns to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Sun 10 October 2021, 18:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Two years after the first NFL matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, American Football made a spectacular return to N17 as Atlanta Falcons beat New York Jets 27-20 on Sunday afternoon.
A sporting casualty of the pandemic last year, 'America's Game' was back with a bang at our world-class home as a crowd of over 60,000 watched an intriguing clash turn this way and that. Falcons started superbly to take control at 17-0 and 20-3, but Jets threatened a comeback, reducing their deficit to just three points in the final quarter before Falcons responded with what turned out to be the decisive touchdown with 2.26 minutes remaining.
As always, the UK's NFL fanbase was out in force, with what appeared like every NFL team's shirt on show on the High Road. Fans were then treated to Katherine Jenkins and Marisha Wallace belting out the national anthems. Marisha sung the Star Spangled Banner perched next to our iconic golden cockerel at the top of the South Stand, and there were gasps as US Air Force jets performed a fly-by over the stadium.
Onto the action, and Falcons took a grip of proceedings as QB Matt Ryan picked out Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst. South Korean kicker Younghoe Koo - who hooked up with Heung-Min Son in March - added both extra points and two field goals, with Jets' only response a field goal from Matt Ammendola as Falcons went into half-time 20-3 up.
Jets responded impressively in the second half with touchdowns from Ty Johnson and Michael Carter and a two-point conversion reducing arrears to 20-17 with seven minutes remaining. Crucially though, Falcons scored next via a Mike Davis touchdown, Koo again with the extra point, for 27-17. Jets could only make another field goal from Ammendola for the final 27-20 scoreline.
What they said...
Falcons' coach Arthur Smith: "It's big time, the stadium and the atmosphere. We loved coming over here. It's spectacular. The whole environment, we've been treated so well since we came over here. It's an unbelievable stadium and great atmosphere. We were happy to be part of it."
Falcons' QB Matt Ryan: "It was incredible. This stadium is beautiful, amazing. The atmosphere was really cool. It was probably one of the best flyovers I've ever seen! Those planes were tight to the stadium. That got my juices going before the game. I've been able to come over here and play here twice, it's always a special event and thanks to everyone in the UK who makes it so special for us. I'm a fan of this stadium."
Falcons' safety Jaylinn Hawkins: "That stadium is 15 out of 10! The stadium is crazy. I was like, woah! I didn't expect it to be that big, that many fans, the crowd was just great, the opening ceremony was great, everything was very dope. It's probably one of the best stadiums I've played in. It was awesome, a great experience."
Jets' coach Robert Saleh: "The fans were phenomenal, for both sides. The experience is always fantastic. The result was unfortunate, but the experience is always good."