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Remembering past games outside the U.S.

9/25/2013

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will participate in the NFL’s 13th regular-season game played outside the United States on Sunday, traveling to Wembley Stadium for each team’s first international game.

Non-U.S. Sites Hosting NFL Games
Preseason/Regular Season

Though the league has only recently held regular-season games outside the country, the NFL has held 58 preseason games outside the United States, including 13 in Tokyo alone.

Including preseason matchups, Sunday will be the 16th game London has hosted and seventh regular-season game, both the most of any city outside the United States.

Here’s a brief look at each regular-season game played outside the United States:

Oct. 2, 2005

Cardinals 31, 49ers 14

Estadio Azteca - Mexico City

Paid Attendance: 103,467


The first non-United States game in the regular season, this matchup also set an NFL regular-season attendance record that stood until 2009. The Cardinals-49ers tilt at the Azteca is still the only regular-season game outside the U.S. not played at London’s Wembley Stadium or the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

The Cardinals rolled behind a 385-yard, two-TD performance from Josh McCown. 49ers quarterback Tim Rattay was pulled in the fourth quarter after a poor showing, leading to Alex Smith’s first career completions.

Oct. 28, 2007

Giants 13, Dolphins 10

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 81,176

The NFL’s first effort in Europe was held in pouring rain. Eli Manning threw for 59 yards in this game and still won, sending the Dolphins to 0-8. Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon led an 80-yard touchdown drive late to make it 13-10, but Jay Feely’s onside kick went out of bounds.

Manning’s kneel downs led to boos from the Wembley crowd, not for the last time.

Oct. 26, 2008

Saints 37, Chargers 32

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 83,226


In what was the best pair of quarterback performances of the international games, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers combined for 680 yards and six touchdowns. Brees’s 339-yard performance with three touchdowns and no interceptions was enough to best his former backup.

Since the start of 2008, Brees has had nine games with at least 330 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, tied with Aaron Rodgers for the most in that span.

Dec. 7, 2008

Dolphins 16, Bills 3

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Paid Attendance: 52,134

This is the lowest-scoring international game to date, and was the start of Buffalo’s "home" series in Toronto. The Bills would lose their first three games in Toronto, and have only one win in five games north of the border.

J.P. Losman completed 1 of 10 passes at least 10 yards downfield, while Chad Pennington was 5-of-8 with a first-quarter touchdown to Anthony Fasano on those throws.

Oct. 25, 2009

Patriots 35, Buccaneers 7

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 82,254

Josh Johnson threw a touchdown pass to both teams in this game, while Tom Brady threw for over 300 yards. The quarterbacks did combine for five interceptions in this game, including a Brady interception by future teammate Aqib Talib.

Brady was excellent out of shotgun formations. Brady completed 16 of 20 attempts for 223 yards and all three touchdowns out of the shotgun in a Patriots rout.

Dec. 3, 2009

Jets 19, Bills 13

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Paid Attendance: 51,567

The only international game not played on a Sunday, the Jets won this Thursday night game in Toronto behind a sterling defensive effort. Buffalo gained 36 yards in the second half, the lowest second-half total by the Bills since 1996.

Second-year cornerback Darrelle Revis shut down Bills receiver Terrell Owens, holding Ryan Fitzpatrick to 2-of-8 passing for 16 yards and an interception targeting Owens.

Oct. 31, 2010

49ers 24, Broncos 16

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 83,941


Three straight 49ers touchdowns in the fourth quarter were too much to overcome for the Broncos. Troy Smith had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown without a turnover.

Kyle Orton threw for 370 yards but took four sacks and threw an interception. Orton would make five more starts for the Broncos before ceding the starting job to Tim Tebow.

Nov. 7, 2010

Bears 22, Bills 19

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Paid Attendance: 50,746

Buffalo fell to 0-8 after the loss in Toronto to the Bears, who handed the Bills their third straight loss by three points or fewer. Jay Cutler threw for two touchdowns and the Bears defense forced three turnovers in the second half.

The Bears have had 30 games with at least three turnovers forced since the start of 2008, the most of any team.

Oct. 23, 2011

Bears 24, Buccaneers 18

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 76,981

The first team to repeat in London, the Buccaneers stayed winless at Wembley by not shutting down Matt Forte. Forte rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown with 38 receiving yards. Forte quadrupled the Buccaneers' rushing total himself, as Tampa Bay managed 30 yards on 11 rushes.

Cutler became the first quarterback with multiple international wins. Cutler would be joined by Brady the next year, though Cutler is the only quarterback with wins in three countries.

Oct. 30, 2011

Bills 23, Redskins 0

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Paid Attendance: 51,579


Finally, the Bills won a game in Canada, and a convincing one at that. The Redskins are still the only team to be shut out in an international game.

The Bills had four sacks in their first six games of 2011 but sacked John Beck 10 times in the game. That was only the sixth time since the start of 2011 a team had double-digit sacks in a game.

Oct. 28, 2012

Patriots 45, Rams 7

Wembley Stadium - London

Paid Attendance: 84,004

The biggest Wembley crowd for an NFL game saw a dominant offensive performance by the Patriots. After the Rams took a 7-0 lead, New England scored 45 straight points, including touchdowns on their first five possessions.

The lone aspect of the Patriots offense to draw London’s ire was again the quarterback kneel down. Ryan Mallett drew boos for running out the clock, sealing a win that made New England the first team with multiple victories in England.

Dec. 16, 2012

Seahawks 50, Bills 17

Rogers Centre - Toronto

Paid Attendance: 40,770

Buffalo followed up a 2011 win in Toronto by allowing the most points in an international game. The Seahawks dominated the Bills, with Russell Wilson accounting for four touchdowns and Earl Thomas intercepting a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and returning it for another.

The game drew more than 20,000 fewer fans than the typical Bills home game at Ralph Wilson Stadium (62,527).