LONDON — If the Eagles were a soccer team, this is what it would have felt like.
Eagles fans made Wembley seem like the Linc Sunday. Or maybe more accurately, like the Vet.
They probably outnumbered Jaguars fans by at least 5-to-1 and they made their presence known with frequent Eagles chants — both in and out of the stadium — and by making noise at all the right times.
The Eagles noticed.
“It was cool, man,” Jordan Matthews said after his biggest game in two years.
“It felt like I was playing soccer out there with the field and the atmosphere. Really, really, really good time. Loved all the Eagles fans able to come out and give us an amazing environment.
“Fourth and 2 (in the fourth quarter), we needed a stop and they were loud out there. It was fun.”
The Eagles held off the Jaguars 24-18 Sunday in the first international regular-season game in franchise history.
They played preseason games at Wembley in 1989 and 1991, but that was nothing compared to this.
The atmosphere was certainly unique, with a nice mixture of Americans supporting their teams, Londoners who’ve become Jaguars fans because they play here every year and who became Eagles fans during the Super Bowl run, and lots of locals who just wanted to come out and watch kickoffs, punts and field goals.
“Loved it,” Zach Ertz said. “This game was honestly a lot of fun. It was kind of a Super Bowl experience in the sense that there's a lot more going on than just the football game.
“I loved hearing the other national anthem (God Save the Queen) during warmups. I thought it was really cool. I loved how everyone was singing it as a collective group.”
Ertz has a pretty close connection to big-time soccer, since his wife Julie plays pro soccer and also for the U.S. national team.
“Knowing kind of the history of the soccer, how passionate soccer fans are, football to (the British), it was a cool environment,” he said. “It is kind of a spectacle. I did like playing here a lot, honestly.”
This wasn’t Jason Kelce’s first trip to Wembley.
He came during the Eagles’ bye week in 2015 to watch his brother Travis play for the Chiefs in a win over the Lions.
"It’s a special city and I wish I had more time to hit the sites and get a feel for the people, but maybe I can do that in the offseason,” he said. “Biggest thing is that I didn’t know how it was going to feel out there. I thought it was just going to feel like a typical away game. Not at all man. As soon as they started God Save the Queen? It’s special. As an NFL player you don’t usually get to play on an international stage. You’re always kind of secluded to the United States, and that’s one of the down sides of the game, and I’m just happy that between London, Mexico City and some other places, American football is starting to be appreciated by a lot more people, and it’s fun to be a part of."
The record 85,870 fans at Wembley Sunday voted Carson Wentz “Man of the Match,” and Wentz seemed to enjoy his first taste of international football.
And not just because the Eagles won.
“It was really cool,” he said. “Coming in, obviously I had no idea what to expect, when everyone was going to be cheering, what the fans were going to be cheering for and everything.
“But it was an awesome experience, awesome environment. Definitely a fun one over here.”
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