Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

In Pictures: NFL comes to London as Chicago Bears beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders during the NFL International Series Match at Wembley, London
Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders during the NFL International Series Match at Wembley, London
A Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader performs during the NFL International Series Match at Wembley Stadium, London
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders during the NFL International Series Match at Wembley, London
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders listen to the American national anthemduring the NFL International Series Match at Wembley, London
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Roy Williams #11 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Marion Barber #24 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: A squirrel runs across the pitch prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Kellen Winslow #82 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scores a touchdown as Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears tackles during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Kregg Lumpkin #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is brought down by Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: A pitch invader disrupts play during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Dezmon Briscoe #89 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scores a touchdown as Chris Harris #46 of the Chicago Bears tackles during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: D.J. Moore #30 of the Chicago Bears celebrates Anthony Walters #37 of the Chicago Bears after he makes a game winning interception during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: A general view of play during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears celebrates scoring a touchdown during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins sings the national anthem prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Rzeznik (C) and Robby Takac (R) of the Goo Goo Dolls perform the pregame entertainment prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Rzeznik (L) and Robby Takac (R) of the Goo Goo Dolls perform the pregame entertainment prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Katherine Jenkins performs the national anthem before the NFL International Series Match at Wembley, London
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepares to take the snap during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The Glazer family suffered a second sporting defeat of the day as a late rally from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell short in a 24-18 loss to the Chicago Bears at Wembley last night.

The Glazers took a helicopter south to London after seeing Manchester United crushed 6-1 at home by rivals Manchester City.

This had been billed as the most evenly matched of the NFL Wembley games to date, but Chicago ran away with it early on before Tampa Bay tried to come back in the fourth quarter.

Having trailed 21-5 going into the final 15 minutes, the Bucs scored two touchdowns to close to within three points.

The Bears responded with a field goal and intercepted Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman for a third time to seal victory.

A Chicago win seemed to suit the majority of the 76,981 Wembley crowd, with the Bears' lingering popularity among UK fans from the late 1980s and the days of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry.

Chicago's Matt Forte thrilled the London crowd with some explosive bursts, scoring the opening touchdown as he danced into the end zone from 32 yards out late in the first quarter.

Chicago added a second touchdown, Jay Cutler throwing 25 yards to Roy Williams in the second quarter and when Tampa Bay settled for a field goal on their only promising drive of the first half, there was a sense it was already over.

That notion seemed to be confirmed early in the second half, when Marion Barber burst through to add a third Bears touchdown.

It took a defensive play to get Tampa in position for their first touchdown, as Corey Lynch's interception set up a pass to Kellen Winslow early in the final quarter.

When Freeman found Dezmon Briscoe with a 24-yard pass with 7:25 still on the clock it was game on. Chicago responded with a thrilling drive, but despite a huge penalty call against Aqib Talib, they could only manage a field goal and the defence held on.

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