The NFL continues exporting mediocre football to the UK for its annual overseas publicity stunt. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Chicago Bears in London this week.
Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attract more interest among London fans than fans back in Florida? The sheer novelty of American football player on other shores is probably enough to keep this on the NFL publicity calendar. Unlike last year's game between the 49ers and the Broncos, this one actually carries some consequences in the standings.
Tampa needs a win to stay in first place in the NFC South, a spot most thought would de facto belong to the Saints or Falcons this year. That might even help with sagging ticket sales for a team that has met the requirements to get around the NFL blackout rules just once since 2009.
Chicago is a team threatening to come apart at the seems. Multiple contract disputes and a war of words between quarterback and offensive coordinator have turned the Bears into more of sideshow than a main attraction.