The New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins 27-14 in front of a full house at Wembley to win the first of three NFL matches to be held in London in 2015.
Much of the sell-out crowd were supporting Miami but the Jets started stronger to open a 20-7 half-time lead.
Eric Decker and Zac Stacy then added to Chris Ivory’s opening touchdown and two Nick Folk field goals after Miami’s Jake Stoneburner had narrowed the gap.
Kenny Stils‘s fourth-quarter score gave the Dolphins hope but the Jets hung on.
Having been dominated in the opening stages, Miami rallied late on and had a touchdown disallowed before Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams made two brilliant interceptions in the end-zone with just minutes remaining.
Victory was the Jets’ third from their first four matches of the NFL season, while Miami have now lost three of their opening four.
What was the atmosphere like?
Enthusiastic, raucous and distinctly American.
The match was technically a home game for the Dolphins, and they certainly were not lacking for support.
The New York Jets players emerged onto the pitch to jeers, while the Dolphins were roared onto the turf accompanied by flag bearers, pyrotechnics and cheerleaders.
As viewers in Miami and New York tuned in at about 9:30 a.m. their time, the American and British national anthems were followed by London Calling by the Clash as the sun continued to pour down.
T-shirt cannons launching free merchandise into the stands kept the crowd entertained during breaks in play, while actor David Hasselhoff was one of several American famous faces watching on.
As for the game, Hasselhoff captured the balance of play best when he said his team, the Dolphins,
“got their butts kicked”, despite showing signs of a comeback late on.
What’s next for the NFL in the UK?
A total of 12 regular season NFL match have been held at England’s national stadium since the first in 2007, when the Dolphins lost to the New York Giants.
Wembley hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills on 25 October, with Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions to face off on 1 November.
Those two matches will be broadcast live on either BBC Two or the BBC Red Button as part of a new two-year rights deal which will also include a new weekly highlights show.
The Road To The Super Bowl will run from the final Wembley game in November until the climax of the NFL season in February.
Off the field, discussions are continuing over the eventual establishment of a permanent NFL franchise in London, with a 2014 study suggesting it could bring £100m a year to the UK economy.
NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood told BBC Two: “A franchise is logistically difficult in the medium term, but long-term it would probably be easier, once you got into the swing of it.
“Personally I’m just excited that since starting to play here in 2007, we’re actually at a point where we’re talking about which way to go.”