On Sunday, the Denver Broncos came from behind to secure a season-saving 21-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England.

During a timeout, it was announced that 86,215 people were in attendance at Wembley Stadium, which was the biggest audience ever for an NFL game in London.

I was lucky enough to be one of those 86,215 people, having flown in from Southern California. I have attended games in five different stadiums; Denver, Oakland, San Diego, LA and London. No doubt, this time was a completely different experience from any of them.

Pregame experience in London, England

When I spoke to locals about my reason for being in town, the majority of people seemed shocked that I would fly all the way from the United States to watch an American football team. In fact, very few even knew the game was being played.

The closer the game date came, the more Broncos fans I saw on the streets. Even though you didn’t know one another, there was always an exchange of, “Go Broncos!”

In the days leading up to the game, organizations like Broncos Europe and even the Denver Broncos hosted a slew of events for the fans. It was an incredible experience getting to meet Denver Broncos fans from all over the world.

The Broncos’ marketing team held a get-together three days in a row at a pub called The Barrowboy & Banker. Hall-of-Famer Steve Atwater and Miles the mascot attended all three days. On Friday, general manager George Paton and the Walton family owners stopped by. By Saturday night, so many fans showed up that the line was long out the door, and most never got in.

Game day in London

The game itself felt like an NFL fan convention.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that every team’s jersey was represented in the stands. And as I asked people why they were wearing their jersey, the answers were varied. Some were genuine fans of that team, and some only wore it because it had been a gift and was the only NFL merchandise they owned.

No matter what, though, everyone was excited to be at the game.

Next to me was a diehard Broncos fan who had flown in from Italy, who was incredibly excited for the game. Another guy I met from London was waiting for 12 years for the Broncos to come back to Wembley Stadium and play again. He was there in 2010 when the San Francisco 49ers beat Denver 24-16.

Behind me were two guys who lived in London. One considered himself a Dallas Cowboys fan, and the other said he didn’t have a team, although he was quick to put on the free Jaguars shirt he had caught from the T-Shirt cannon.

While the game was listed as a Jacksonville home game, there were far more Broncos fans in attendance. The biggest difference was that most of the Broncos fans had flown in, while most of the Jaguars fans lived in London.

Keep in mind, the Jacksonville Jaguars have played a game in London every year since 2013, which has helped them develop a fanbase there. And team owner, Shad Khan, is also the owner of the Fulham Football Club, a Premier League English professional football club based in Fulham, London.

Without a doubt, the atmosphere was unlike any American football game I had ever been in attendance for.

While the Broncos got some boos from the opposing fans in between plays, they’d immediately stop as soon as the next play would begin. It was as if they didn’t want to be disrespectful.

Similarly, no Jaguars fan heckled or trash-talked me, even when the Broncos started so abysmally. As someone who attended the recent Broncos vs. Chargers game in Los Angeles a few weeks earlier, as a fan of the away team, that is definitely not the norm.

Are English people simply more polite than Americans?

Another interesting observation was that most of the time, everybody sat down during the game, even when their team was about to score. It was easy to spot the American Broncos fans that way, standing and cheering wildly.

One of the most memorable moments was when “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond started playing, and suddenly every person in the audience stood up and sang along. For those couple of minutes, it felt like everyone was united. It reminded me of the 7th Inning Stretch at Major League Baseball games.

Even though the Broncos won in such an exciting fashion, there was no bad blood post-game. Again, very different from NFL games in America. Every Jacksonville fan I encountered congratulated me on the win and told me we had “bettered” their team. While disappointing, as far as they were concerned, now that the game was over, it meant everyone got to head to the pub and drink.

The NFL has a future in London

It’s clear to me that if the NFL wants to capitalize on the London market, there is an audience for it. Consistency and access to games, as well as the time difference, are some barriers that will be challenging to overcome, though.

I cannot recommend going to an overseas game enough to any Broncos fan. It showcased how amazingly Broncos Country (Broncos World?) travels and was a game experience you’ll never get otherwise at any of the 30 NFL stadiums we have in America.

It was clear the Broncos players were hyped at the end of the contest, and the vibes were a complete 180 from what we have seen from them over the last month. As for this season, hopefully this game is the start of a change in momentum for the team as they enter into the bye week.