Stefon Diggs the star for Twickenham-bound Vikings

September 12, 2017

With two NFL fixtures taking place at Twickenham next month, the start of the regular season has given London-based fans even more reason for excitement than usual. 

This will be particularly true for followers of the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns. 

For the Vikings, the weekend saw a superb start thanks to some fine wide receiver play by Stefon Diggs.

Two excellent catches in the end zone by Diggs helped the team to a 29-19 win over the New Orleans Saints, and the star was not even too troubled by the fact that he was hit on the chin by the helmet of Saints' Kenny Vaccaro. 

Speaking on PFT live, Diggs said: "I don’t know what happened as far as he led with his helmet or anything like that, but I just call it football. I’m on to the next play."

He added that he would prefer a head shot to being hit in his "delicate" legs, which are more prone to significant injury.

A fit and in-form Diggs could be one of the key players when Vikings take on the Browns on October 29th. Whether the Browns will have a wide receiver in similarly good form is, however, another matter. 

The 21-18 defeat against Pittsburgh Steelers may have been a disappointment for the whole team, but Kenny Britt ended up being the scapegoat. With the side desperately trying to mount a fourth quarter rally to retrieve the game at 21-10 down, Britt dropped a straightforward catch from a fine throw by rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.

Reflecting on this incident after the match, coach Hue Jackson unceremoniously threw Britt under the bus. He remarked: "I have seen players do that before, and we all have. I have had some of the great ones in this league drop balls.

"But we can't do that to a young quarterback because he needs guys to make as many plays for him as they can in this situation. I think Kenny gets that. He knows that is inexcusable. He has to make that play for the quarterback."

With less than two months until the team flies out to London, Britt has - quite literally - a lot of catching up to do to make amends.

A week before the Vikings take on the Browns on October 29th, the home of English rugby will see the clash between NFC West sides the Cardinals and the Rams.
The pair had contrasting fortunes, as the Cardinals went down 35-23 away to the Detroit Lions, while the Rams enjoyed a crushing 46-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts. 

As if defeat wasn't bad enough, the Cardinals lost running back David Johnson with a  serious wrist injury that could keep him out of action for up to 12 weeks, and certainly long enough to miss the game at Twickenham. Doctors will assess this week whether surgery is needed.

The Rams, meanwhile, had plenty to be happy about on the field, but less so off it. The 93,000-capacity L.A. Coliseum - the team's home until their own new stadium is ready - looked around half-full. The Rams said just over 60,000 tickets had been distributed, but clearly not all of those were used.

All that may change after the emphatic victory over the Colts, but they can certainly be sure of one thing: whether the fans will fill the Coliseum or not, the Rams will play in front of a packed Twickenham come October 22nd.

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