Patriots bang and mash Rams, 45-7
Sunday, October 28, 2012
There must be something about the pub food in England that appeals to the Patriots, right?
After all, London isn't exactly known for its cuisine. And following New England's game with St. Louis Sunday at Wembley Stadium, if not for the food...perhaps London will be known for big Patriots' wins. After giving up an early touchdown to the Rams, the Pats reeled off 45 unanswered points in a dominating 45-7 victory. Coupled with the Patriots' 35-7 win over Tampa Bay in 2009, the Pats have outscored their opponents 80-14 in two NFL games played in Old England.
Jolly good show. it was.
After allowing the Rams' offense to take the opening kickoff and move 80 yards in just five plays, with Sam Bradford hitting Chris Givens for a 50-yard touchdown against the Patriots' secondary...it was over. Sounds strange, but perhaps, the Pats had the Rams where they wanted them. The New England offense took off and was never challenged by the St. Louis defense, as the Patriots scored touchdowns on each of their first five drives in the game (four in the first half, plus the first drive of the second half). They actually scored on their first six possessions overall, adding a Stephen Gostkowski 26 yard field goal before Zoltan Mesko kicked the first punt of the game with 2:36 left in the third quarter.
Four different players scored the first four touchdowns in the first half, with Tom Brady hitting Brandon Lloyd from 19 yards, Shane Vereen scoring on a one-yard run, Rob Gronkowski catching a seven-yard pass and Stevan Ridley running in from a yard out. It was such a dominating performance...that the maligned-defense got in on the act and shut the Rams' offense out after the opening drive. They also managed to stop the Rams short on two 4th-down attempts, and intercepted Bradford twice in the second half (rookies Tavon Wilson and Alfonzo Dennard).
After connecting with Lloyd for a nine-yard score to open the 3rd quarter, followed by Gostkowski's field goal, Brady hit Gronk with a second score (14 yards) in the 4th quarter to close out the scoring spree with 11:20 to play. It was a dominating performance from an offensive standpoint, to be sure. The Patriots gained a total of 473 yards of offense, and have now gained at least 350 total yards in 17 consecutive games to set an NFL record.
The team whose record the Patriots beat? The St. Louis Rams, who had a streak of 16 such games during their "Greatest Show on Turf" run in the late '90's and early 2000's.
It was anything but a great show on the Wembley turf this time out. The Rams arrived in London three days before the Patriots got there, and it looked as if St. Louis fought jet lag throughout the entire game. The Pats were also helped by the Rams defense along the way, as St. Louis was called for pass interference on third down three times in the first half (against Bradley Fletcher) -- including twice on the final drive of the half.
New England became the first team to win two games in London, having beaten Tampa Bay at Wembley in 2009. The Patriots also had the majority of crowd support from the 84,004 fans in attendance, despite the Rams being the designated home team.
Guess they simply didn't have enough home-cooking on their side. The way it went for the Patriots, perhaps they'll be coming back for more.
Post Game Notes
Gronkowski registered his second 100-yard game of the season and his eighth career 100-yard game after finishing the game with 146 yards on eight receptions...the Patriots have 232 first downs through eight games this season, giving them an average of 29 per game and a pace to finish the year with 464, which would smash the NFL record of 416 total first downs by New Orleans in 2011...the Patriots also have 3,526 net yards through the first eight games in 2012 and are on pace to finish with 7,052 yards, a total which would set the franchise record, and rank third in NFL history...Stevan Ridley had his fifth career 100 yard game and fifth of the 2012 season after finishing with 15 carries for 127 yards with one touchdown and an average of 8.5 yards per carry...Brady had his 50th career 300-yard game (5th of this season) after finishing with 304 yards to move past hall of famer Warren Moon for the seventh most 300-yard games in NFL history...rookie DE Chandler Jones registered his team-leading sixth sack of the season on when he dropped Sam Bradford for a 17-yard loss in the third quarter...the Patriots will depart England at 5 am London time, in an effort to get home before Hurricane Sandy affects the area...the team heads into its' bye-week with a 5-3 record, in first place in the AFC East, and will next face Buffalo on November 11th at Gillette Stadium...