To mark the end of the 2015 International Series, RealSport are presenting two teams made up of the best players and performances that we’ve seen on British shores – the All-Wembley team, and the All-International Series teams. The All-Wembley team is made up of the best all-time players to have played at Wembley during the International Series. The All-International Series team is made up of the players who have given the best performances during International Series games. Enjoy!
Check out the All-International Series offense here! Put the dog out, put the little kiddies to sleep and tell the ole’ lady not to bother you because this article is not for the faint of heart; this isn’t a pretty boy offense article, this is all about the DEFENSE BABY! Now that another International Series has ended we at RealSport think this is the perfect time to take a look back at the best defensive performances since the start of the series and create an ALL-IS Defense team.
Interestingly, four players come from the 2013 Minnesota Vikings who were 0-3 at the time and gave up 27 points, but because of the points given up they don’t come near being the ALL-IS Team. So without further ado – let’s get ready to rumble….
Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings (2013)
Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings (2013
Playing backside end, Jared had 2.5 sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers and missed a full sack by the skin of his teeth. Allen was a constant pain in Big Ben’s back side, showing why he’s the poor man’s J.J.Watt. It’s been rumoured Mike Adams is still having nightmares over trying to block Allen. Just to be a bit controversial I’m going to pick an OLB as the other DE – and its another Minnesota Viking. Looks like that cold weather makes them real angry the way these boys played when they were here. Chad Greenway had 10 solos tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception in one of the typical work horse performances the Linebacker has been known for since joining the NFL in 2006
Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings (2013)
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions (2014)
Everson Griffen only had 2 tackles in the game against the Steelers but he came up huge when it mattered most. With 19 seconds left on the clock, the Steelers on the 6 yard line threaten to tie the game up, Griffen did what every coach wants from his defensive line he beat the blocker to the outside and stripped Big Ben of the football.
Minnesota recovered the ball and the win was secured. With DTs being the silent heroes of the defense, finding a truly dominant player here wasn’t the easiest so I’m taking the cheap way out and naming 2014 Detriot Lion Ndamukong Suh as the man. Yeah…yeah I know, I’m cheating – but the guy is legit and made 3 tackles from ther DT position, not a historically statistic heavy position.
Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints (2008)
Manny Lawson, San Francisco 49ers (2010)
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, St Louis Rams (2012)
Ex-Jets draftee Jonathan Vilma has had his share of problems since joining into the NFL but in 2008 while visiting ole’ Blighty with the New Orleans Saints he racked up some serious numbers which included 9 Solo Tackles and 1 interception. He led a Saints’ defense which only gave up 3 rushing 1st downs all day. The 49ers were in the midst of a horrendous season in 20120 but Manny showed the fans there was a reason to hope for better things to come. He had a sack and a forced fumble from the Outside Linebacker position in a game the 49ers won 24 – 16, in a game that saw failed football saviour Tim Tebow score on a keeper from the 1 yard line. Dunbar had to be all over the field on the day because the opponents were the New England Patriots, and at times it seemed like Dunbar was all by himself. The undersized Syracuse NY product had 9 solos on the day, in what was to be his career year. Since 2012 he hasn’t reach as high as the year promised.
Josh Robinson, Minnesota Vikings (2013)
Cortland Finnegan, Miami Dolphins (2014)
Another 2013 Minnesota Viking, Robinson had 12 solos tackles in England that amount represented 25% of his solos tackles for the year. Definitely makes the ALL –IS team. Finnegan only had 4 tackles on the day but his biggest contribution was picking up an errant snap and running 54 yards to score. Who doesn’t want to see the defense get in on the scoring? And for that he makes the ALL-IS defensive team.
Glover Quinn, Detroit Lions (2015)
Quinn has a very serviceable game against Kansas City Chiefs in a losing effort, with 4 solo tackles and 2 assists. Well someone had to get the nod.
Usama Young, Oakland Raiders (2014)
Young was the leading tackler for his defense which is never a good sign, and only having 7 usually means a lot of players not being tackled, looking at the scoreboard (38-14) a lot of Miami Dolphins weren’t tackled. Usama’s performance could very well have been the highlight of the season for Raiders.
So there are the individuals who make up the All-IS team, but let’s take this one step further and pick an All-IS Defensive Team – Team (that’s proper English – ain’t it?).
There are four teams to consider, the 2013 Minnesota Vikings who had some amazing individual performances but still gave up 27 points. The 2007 NY Giants who held the Miami Dolphins to 10 point in the inaugural International Series game. Even the Dallas Cowboys had to be considered for the Defensive Team for the performance they gave in 2014 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, holding them to 17 points. But seeing as the Jags aren’t a scoring juggernaut, the performance isn’t a huge surprise. So the All Defensive Team performance goes to the New England Patriots, they’ve travelled to London twice and held each team to one measly score. Impressive numbers from a defense that’s always knew their job was the stay in their lane, and let Tommy Boy win the game.