American Football Expert & Columnist
Pick Six: Talking points from Oakland's London win over Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Last Updated: 07/10/19 1:22pm
Sunday marked an historic day for the NFL as the league's first purpose-built stadium outside of North America was unveiled in London with the Oakland Raiders winning a 24-21 thriller against the Chicago Bears.
Here are six talking points and keys to the big game in this all-Tottenham Hotspur Stadium edition of my Pick Six column.
More than anything, I feel like Sunday's game showed tremendous mental steel from a Raiders point of view. They went up 17-0, then the wheels appeared to come off and they were down 21-17. And then Trevor Davis fumbled at the goal-line when it seemed as if the Silver and Black would get back on top.
Raiders hold on to beat Bears in London
The Oakland Raiders held off a fierce comeback by the Chicago Bears to win 24-21 in the first NFL game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But Jon Gruden's men hung around and overcame that heartbreak with a mightily impressive 13-play, 97-yard drive that was capped by Josh Jacobs' game-winning two-yard touchdown leap. In a back and forth game, the Raiders dug deep and now sit pretty at 3-2 on the year.
A star is born
As Jacobs went airborne and in for the game-winning touchdown, Sky Sports studio guest Takeo Spikes screamed: "That's my new favourite player!" Jacobs was impressive to watch as he carried 26 times for 123 yards and two scores.
A true three-down back who can do it all, Jacobs added three receptions. He was the driving force behind this Raiders win and it seems clear the Raiders will want to make him the focal point of their attack for many years to come.
The front five
American football is the ultimate team sport, though, and Jacobs was helped out by his five big guys up front who controlled the line of scrimmage. The Raiders shifted Bears defenders away from the ball all night long and they also made Khalil Mack - the subject of so much pre-game talk and attention - a non-factor.
Mack had just three tackles and, most importantly, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was not sacked.
Carr gets in gear
There were some ridiculous offensive numbers posted around the NFL on Sunday night and, by comparison, Carr's were pretty ordinary. But in fact he played a very good and very efficient game for Oakland as he completed 25 of 32 attempts for 229 yards.
He did not throw a touchdown but he also did not throw a pick and he produced some very nice throws on Oakland's game-winning drive. It was not a vintage display, but the Raiders' number four certainly played a role at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Chase looks like a backup
I said this in our Sky Sports coverage on Sunday night… there is a reason guys start in the NFL and then there are reasons why players are backups. Bears quarterback Chase Daniel has been a backup his entire NFL career and even though he is now in his 11th season, Sunday marked just his fifth start. And it showed.
While he was impressive coming off the bench last weekend, Daniel was found out at Tottenham. He didn't even see Nicholas Morrow on his first interception and the second one - which sealed the game - was an ill-advised throw into triple coverage.
The only mitigation for Daniel is that he was under a great deal of pressure and that in itself is another story. We headed to Tottenham to see an outstanding defense and the wrong one showed up - it was the Raiders who pressured Daniel to the tune of four sacks.
Oh what a night!
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: From PL to NFL
From a Champions League match on Tuesday to an NFL game on Sunday, Tottenham's new stadium was transformed this week.
What a game, what a venue, what a night! It felt truly special to be a part of the first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It really is one of the most amazing stadiums I have ever been in. And it shines as a beacon for how far the NFL has come in the UK.
I covered the NFL during some dark days on these shores but we have now grown to four games per year, a likely four more next year and who knows in the coming years? A franchise of our own, perhaps.
Sky Sports News' Richard Graves put that question to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday and the big man answered by talking about more stadia giving the option for even more games in the future.
Gravesy asked when that could happen and the Commissioner said: "As soon as possible. We see the passion of the fans and we want to bring them more."