New Orleans Saints enjoyed a memorable evening at Wembley on Saturday (September 30th) as they beat the Miami Dolphins 20-0 in the second game to be played at the home of English soccer this autumn.
The Saints defense turned in a fine performance to shutout the Dolphins, who struggled as, not for the first time this season, their offense failed to make an impact. The Miami Herald called their offensive efforts "a mess", and only able to carry the ball 46 yards in the whole ball game as he battled in vain to make an impact in his home town.
Having scored just six points in their last two games and suffering their first shutout in four years, the Dolphins certainly have problems going forward. Even so, huge credit must go for Ken Crawley for a superb defensive interception in the end zone that prevented a Dolphins touchdown in the first quarter.
With the scoring left to New Orleans, it was not until late in the second quarter that any points were registered, Will Lutz kicking a field goal.
However, in the second half of the match the Saints were able to push home their advantage. Michael Thomas produced the first touchdown as he sneaked in at the corner to extend the lead to 10-0 in the third quarter, and after Lutz had kicked another field goal early in the fourth, Alvin Kamara weaved his way through a series of desperate Dolphins tackles to complete the scoring.
With the Wembley action out of the way, fans booking corporate hospitality for NFL games will now look to Twickenham for more action. Arizona Cardinals face Los Angeles Rams on October 22nd and Minnesota Vikings take on the Cleveland Browns on the 29th.
If Arizona Cardinals win in south-west London, it won't be their first victory on the road this season. The side won a thrilling matchday four fixture 18-15 away to the San Francisco 49ers as Larry Fitzgerald clinched the victory on overtime with a 19-yard run to score the only touchdown of the game.
The LA Rams also enjoyed a close-fought win as they beat Dallas Cowboys 35-30 in a stunning game that included 34 points in the second quarter, so the first game at Twickenham could be an absolute thriller.
Minnesota and Cleveland will need to up their games, however, after a poor matchday four for both sides.
The Vikings were beaten 14-7 by Detroit, who managed 11 unanswered points in the third quarter to take control of the game, maintaining their grip through a scoreless final quarter.
For the Browns, things were much worse as they crashed 31-7 to the Cincinnati Bengals in the clash of two sides who had lost their first three games of the season.
After a scoreless first quarter, Bengals took charge as they went 21-0 up in the second with touchdowns by A.J Green, Tyler Croft and Giovani Bernard. Kroft was later to score a second touchdown.
In response, the Browns could inflict no damage on their opponents - short of Carl Lawson getting two teeth knocked out in an attempted sack - until they finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter with Duke Johnson scoring a consolation touchdown.
Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription