The Atlanta Falcons beat the New York Jets 27-20 on Sunday in the NFL's first game in London in two years. Over 65,000 people, many wearing gear from any of the NFL's 32 teams, watched Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan complete 33 of 45 passes for 342 yards, with no interceptions and two touchdowns to boot.
The Jets, on the other hand, were punchless for the entire first half. While they picked it up in the second half, scoring 17 of their 20 points, QB Zach Wilson again struggled, completing 19 of 32 passes for 192 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
With that win, the Falcons managed to inch their way closer to a .500 record, and they managed to do it without a key piece of equipment.
On the Falcons sideline, the kicking net was nowhere to be found. Instead, there was a soccer goal net propped up on two stepladders with weights to anchor them to the ground.
Appears the Falcons forgot their kicking net and so have improvised one using two step ladders and a goal net. pic.twitter.com/bAxITEA88W
— Martin Calladine (@uglygame) October 10, 2021
— Ben Adams (@benadams79) October 10, 2021
British ingenuity at work: It appears the Falcons don’t have their sideline kicking net. NO PROBLEM. pic.twitter.com/lawY6Xph2r
— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) October 10, 2021
The Falcons hadn't mentioned anything about their missing kicking net (which is understandable since that's a pretty big item to forget), but it's hard to imagine a scenario in which they'd prefer a jury-rigged soccer goal instead of their actual kicking net. You can only assume it broke or they failed to bring it.
So what do you do in that situation, when you're playing at a soccer stadium and a replacement kicking net isn't readily available? Exactly what the Falcons did. Lucky for them, soccer is a sport centered on kicking balls into nets, so there were possible solutions readily available. And it appeared to work perfectly well.
Practicing on the sideline with a makeshift kicking net didn't seem to affect Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo. He went 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points.