Rams defensive end Chris Long put it best when asked to describe what it felt like to lose to the Patriots 45-7 Sunday in London before more than 84,000 people.
"I don't care if it was five people in the stands, I'd be embarrassed,” he said. “To come halfway across the world and play like that, it's bad."
That it was. Bad doesn’t give this game justice. In two successive weeks, after allowing just 111 points in their first six games, the Rams allowed 75 in losses to Green Bay and New England.
At least against Green Bay, the Rams were in the game most of the way. Against the Patriots, it was never a game after the Tams took an early 7-0 lead. Perhaps someone in the Rams’ hierarchy can explain how getting pummeled helps expand the Rams’ brand internationally.
Had this game been at home, the Rams likely would still have lost, but it’s hard to imagine it being this bad.
They now reach their week off, but will come back to play San Francisco on the road. While the New England game was technically a home game, the reality is the Rams are now 0-4 in games away from the Edward Jones Dome.
For the third consecutive game, all losses, the Rams haven't forced a takeaway after having nine in the first six games. In addition, they are stuck on a frighteningly low two forced fumbles in eight games.
Coach Jeff Fisher accepted his team's fate afterward, saying, "What is required to beat a Patriot team that's playing that well on both sides of the ball is a near-perfect game, and obviously, we were unable to do that. Tom (Brady) got a hot hand, and had a good sense, and those guys made a lot of plays for him.
"So this will be a real test for our young football team going into the bye week coming off a disappointing loss like this. We'll find out a lot about ourselves."
What the Rams found out Sunday and last week is the level they have to play at to compete with the NFL's best.
They struck first Sunday on a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chris Givens. The Rams had 75 yards on five plays in that drive, but only 175 on 45 plays in their next eight possessions.
In the meantime, the defense put up little resistance to New England. The Patriots scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions, all in the red zone, and totaled 343 yards on 41 plays.
Fisher said Brady had a hot hand? He and Aaron Rodgers the week before were on fire. Before the Rams played Green Bay last week, Fisher cautioned about heaping too many accolades on the defense, noting that three of the team's first six games were against rookie quarterbacks and that challenges against Rodgers and Brady were on the horizon.
Fisher proved to be a prophet as those two quarterbacks combined completed 53 of 72 passes (73.6 percent) for 646 yards (8.97 yards per attempt) with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Rodgers' passer rating was 132.2 and Brady's 131.1.
Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis was at a loss, trying to figure out how the game got out of hand so quickly.
Laurinaitis told the Post-Dispatch, "I don't know what happened. A lot of things steamrolled against us. We had plays where we just dropped coverages, missed communications. At the end of the day, we're a better defense than this - than what showed."
Williams makes a dozen: When recently-signed offensive lineman Chris Williams entered Sunday’s game in the second half because right tackle Barry Richardson was being evaluated for a possible concussion (he was cleared), he became the 12th lineman to play in a game this season.
Nine different players have started games: Richardson, Harvey Dahl and Rob Turner (8), Quinn Ojinnaka (5), Wayne Hunter (4), Rodger Saffold, Joe Barksdale and Shelley Smith (2) and Scott Wells (1).
At one point late in the game, Barksdale was shaken up and Fisher came on the field. He probably said to Barksdale, “You have to stay in; we don’t have anyone else!” The only other lineman active was center/guard Tim Barnes.