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and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue ofThe 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2005 National League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue of having the best record in the NL during the 2005 season, had the home-field advantage. The Astros won the series four games to two, and became the National League champions; they faced the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, where the Astros lost to the White Sox in a sweep in four games. The Cardinals and Astros were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Cardinals defeating the West Division champion San Diego Padres three games to none, and the Astros defeating the East Division champion Atlanta Braves three games to one. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who won AL pennants with the Oakland Athletics in 1988–89–90 and the NL flag in 2004, fell short in his bid to become the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both major leagues, although he did so in 2006 and again in 2011. The NLCS also closed with the last game ever played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium (II), which the Cardinals departed after 40 seasons.
a predecessor game in 2005. Initially, all games in the International Series were held in London. Wembley Stadium was the exclusive home stadium for InternationalThe NFL International Series is a series of American football games during the National Football League (NFL) regular season that are played outside the United States. Since 2017, the series has two sub-series: the NFL London Games in London, which has been in place since 2007, and the NFL Mexico Game in Mexico City, which began in 2016 with a predecessor game in 2005. Initially, all games in the International Series were held in London. Wembley Stadium was the exclusive home stadium for International Series games from 2007 to 2015 and continued to host NFL games through 2019 and from 2022 to 2024; beginning in 2016, the series expanded to more stadiums, first to Twickenham Stadium in London (2016–17) and to Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (2016–17, 2019, 2022) and eventually to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (2019, 2021–28) and two locations in Germany: Allianz Arena in Munich (2022 and 2024/2025) and Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt (2023 and 2024/2025).