posted on October 29, 2012 08:25
The New England Patriots gave the fans in jolly old England quite a show.
In the process, they physically dismantled St. Louis 45-7 as Rams owner Enos Stanley Kroenke looked on from a private box at Wembley Stadium.
The Patriots have won their two games played in London by a combined score of 80-14, which includes a 35-7 beatdown of the Bucs in 2009.
Your bullet points for the 2012 London Bowl, with pictures of your favorite British model and mine, Keeley Hazell:
1. Rob Gronkowski ... yeah, the Rams might want to cover that guy
Gronkowski caught eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. For whatever reason, the Rams let him roam free off the line of scrimmage. Whatever the thinking was, it failed miserably. Gronkowski's big day was just a piece of Tom Brady's mastery.
Following the game, Gronkowski talked about his first touchdown celebration (which was freaking brilliant) as a tribute to"that little nutcracker dude". Fair enough.
2. Tom Brady joins Marino, Manning and Favre
Brady led the Patriots to five touchdowns on their first five offensive possessions. In the end, he completed 25/35 for 304 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Brady's 8.4 Yards Per Attempt were as impressive as the fact that he didn't take a sack all afternoon.
Sunday marked the 50th time in Brady's career he's thrown at least three touchdowns in a game. Only Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre have accomplished the same feat. That's a very elite table of quarterbacks.
3. The former Rams doomed the Rams in Week 8
Brandon Lloyd hauled in two touchdown passes against his former team while Josh McDaniels exacted a bit of revenge on his employer in 2010 and 2011.
Not to be outdone, tight ends Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells led the way for a Patriots rushing attack that accumulated 152 yards on 28 carries, good for a 5.8 YPA.
On the flip side, the Rams rushed 23 times for 107 yards. Steven Jackson only carried seven times for 23 yards, in the wake of rumors that say the Cardinals and Packers have interest in a possible trade for the RB. The rookie Daryl Richardson carried seven times for 53 yards. If he can learn to hang on to the ball, he's going to put up great numbers in the coming years.
4. The Rams should bench CB Bradley Fletcher for a game
It's not often that a team's Nickel corner becomes a source of conversation but Fletcher is one exception. He committed three pass interference penalties on third down over the course of the afternoon, which gave the Patriots the first downs they needed to punch the ball in the end zone at the end of drives.
These weren't tick-tack penalties either; each replay clearly showed Fletcher grabbing the front of the receiver's jersey, be it Brandon Lloyd or Deion Branch.
Note to Bradley and all aspiring football players: when the officials call it the first time, the odds are they're going to call it all day. Use your brain and make an adjustment.
5. English NFL fans saw the same old Rams on Sunday
After the team's opening drive which culminated in a 50-yd touchdown pass from Bradford to Chris Givens, the Rams were outscored 45-0. In the process, the Rams ...
produced a botched snap that nearly got Bradford killed,
produced a botched snap that cost the Rams a field goal attempt,
were penalized when WR Austin Pettis caught a pass after running out of bounds,
lost offensive linemen Barry Richardson and Joe Barksdale ... on a team that has started nine different lineman already in 2012.
London Stubble is …
a) a stout English brew
b) a song by Coldplay
c) another name for quarterbacking dominance
Go with answer C.
Including his efforts in 2009, Brady is 48/67 for 612 yards with seven touchdowns, two interceptions and 8.7 YPA in London games.
THE FOOTBALL GODS WORK IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
For what it's worth, the Patriots set a record in Week 8, with their 17th straight game with at least 350 total yards of offense. The team that held the record at 16 games? The Greatest-Show-on-Turf Rams.
That's a Gronkowski-esque spike into the heart of a franchise whose dynasty was killed by the Patriots in Feb. 2002.
Rumors suggest Steven Jackson could be traded.
There's also a rumor that WR Steve Smith is on the market. If the Rams can trade Smith and get a bag of Cheeto's in return, it will be the coup of the century. Smith has been a worthless addition to the roster.
THE SLIVER OF GOOD NEWS
The Rams don't have to face the Patriots or Packers again this season. Those two offenses are the exception rather than the rule on the Rams schedule.
For their part, the Rams need to force a turnover and sack the quarterback following their Week 9 bye. It's been three games since the Rams have forced a turnover.
Alex Smith and the rest of the 49ers are in the crosshairs.