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The Bucs have an advantage playing in London

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Chicago Bears on Sunday in a special environment: Wembley Stadium, London, England. For the Chicago Bears this is a first, but the Bucs already have some experience as they played the New England Patriots in London in 2009. Based on the experience they had that year, the Bucs decided to travel to the game early in the week, while the Bears delayed their travel arrangements until yesterday. I have no idea whether this gives the Bucs an advantage, but familiarity with the field certainly will.

Wembley Stadium is a soccer stadium first, and not a true football stadium. This shows in a number of ways, but it's most obvious in the playing surface. After the 2007 game turned into a mud bowl, the field has been of a high quality, but different from normal football games. Wembley provides a very slick field, as that's optimal for soccer: a field on which a round ball can glide over the field. This provides some problems for the team which was evident during the team against the New England Patriots in 2009: the players slipped on occasion, especially on a defense which allowed 30 points on the day.

But the Bucs have now been in London for a week and have the advantage of knowing what it felt like to play on the field in 2009. They've played on a slick field like that, now what it feels like, and they know how to adjust to it. If the Bucs have an advantage because of the venue on Sunday, it has to be that.