This Sunday, the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins will kick off from Wembley Stadium, the first of three regular season games being played in London as part of the NFL’s emphasis on growing its international market. There is concern among league officials, however, that the recent domestic violence scandal could potentially stunt that growth, according to a report by the UK-based magazine Marketing Week.
“We’re in the process of measuring the fallout [on the UK brand] of the incident and will not know anything immediately,” said Mark Reeves, the NFL’s international commercial director. “It’s a negative issue for us and it’s our job is to make sure we rectify it quickly and accordingly. It has not impacted the relationships with any of our sponsors in the UK.”
While Vegas thinks the Niners can keep up and pull out a victory, SB Nation’s own experts weighed in, collectively thinking along the same lines:
Above, the Niners and safety Eric Reid either have a breakdown in coverage assignments or Reid simply waits too long to break on the crossing route. Brown’s speed kills.
On the next Cardinals’ possession, the attention that opposing defenses must pay to Fitzgerald once again comes into play.
It’s a two-man route combination, and against man coverage, this is deadly. Stanton pump fakes to Fitz on the slant. Reid bites. Why? It’s third down, San Francisco likely thinks the Cards will just go for the sticks to pick up a first down, and this is a common concept you’d see in that situation. Few players are tougher over the middle than Fitz, and he’s not easy to bring down. So that’s the thought process that Reid probably has in his mind, and he doesn’t give Brown enough attention. Rookie Jimmie Ward doesn’t jam, then can’t quite keep up in man coverage.