Sunday’s Ravens-Jaguars game is as good as the NFL gets for London — literally.
It’s not much of a headliner on the surface of things, but from the perspective of the NFL in England, it’s as close as the 18-game series has come to matching two teams with winning records (per ProFootballTalk).
Oh, and the streak is guaranteed to stretch to 19 games next week. The Saints are 0-2, so they’re guaranteed of not being over .500 when they meet the Dolphins at Wembley Stadium.
Where did Sunday’s slate compare to great RedZone afternoons of years past? With the help of both Burke and ESPN Stats & Information, I found the average Excitement Index for the top five games from each 1 p.m. ET kickoff going back through 2005. I included only the top five because every weekend will have stinkers, and Sunday’s scoring bonanza wasn’t any less fun because Miami Dolphins- New York Jets was a bummer.
By my count, the top five games in Week 3 produced the seventh-best average Excitement Index since 2005, with an average EI of just under 5.95. The record, which requires going back to Week 6 of that 2005 campaign, was an average EI of 6.55 points per game. Four games that week were either tied or saw a lead change in the final minute of regulation, including a Steelers-Jaguars game in which Pittsburgh blew two chances to win in overtime.
This week’s big five was nearly as great. Let’s run through those games in order of Excitement Index and break down some of the key takeaways from each:
Then the two remaining London games on the 2017 schedule are Cardinals-Rams and Vikings-Browns. Given the Rams’ and Browns’ recent history, it looks like the streak is safe for another season.