The New England Patriots and St Louis Rams went overseas for the 2012 NFL International Series Game at Wembley Stadium in London. The English hadn’t seen such a forceful offensive onslaught since the Patriots whipped the Tampa Buccaneers in their last London appearance, 35-7 in 2009.
When Tom Brady and company were done with the Rams there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who claimed supremacy on the field on this day.
Brady, a 2 time NFL MVP, along with third year TE Rob Gronkowski and 2nd year RB Stevan Ridley led the potent New England attack.
Brady went 23 of 35 for 304 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs and no sacks and finished with a passer rating of 131. Brady threw TD passes to WR Brandon Lloyd of 19 yards and 9 yards and to Gronkowski for 7 yards and 14 yards.
In addition to the 2 TD catches Gronkowski grabbed a total of 8 passes for 146 yards with a long on the day of 32 yards. Then of course it was the post TD celebrations. The first was the “Changing of the Guard” or as Gronk put it was “that little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.”
The second could only be describe as a tribute to “Magic Mike”.
Ridley had his 4th 100-yard rushing game of the season and scored his 5th rushing TD on the year. He had 127 yards on just 15 carries and all of his carries were either on 1st or 2nd down. He is truly becoming a force to be reckoned with and it was nice to see him get back on track after a pair of tough games against Seattle and New York.
The defense did a nice job today for the most part. Look no defense is going to be perfect and cut out all the big plays but they made some adjustments and after the 50-yard TD pass by Sam Bradford to WR Chris Givens on the Rams first drive the big plays were minimized.
New England held St Louis to 17 first downs (7 rushing, 9 passing, and 1 by penalty) a total of 326 yards (107 rushing, 219 passing) and were very stingy in third and fourth down. The Rams only had 4 plays the entire game of 20 yards or more which is marked improvement over the past 5 weeks.
The team should be feeling good about itself right now. They sit at 5-3 and in first place in the AFC East as they head into their bye week. Their November games are home games against Buffalo, Indianapolis and a Thanksgiving road trip to face the Jets. All three are winnable games and with wins will put the division out of reach yet again.
Patriots at Rams Gamebook includes the box score, all the stats, play by play, drive charts and more.
Patriots at Rams Game Recap.
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Turning Point of the Game
The Patriots blew the game open in the 2nd quarter with three scoring drives. All were 9 plays and they went for 83, 78 and 56 yards. They used an elapsed time of 9:42 to score 21 points.
Offensive Players of the Game
TE Rob Gronkowski had 8 catches for 146 yards and 2 TDs and RB Stevan Ridley ran for 127 yards and 1 TD on 15 carries.
Defensive Player of the Game
Rookie DB Alfonzo Dennard made 5 tackles and had his 2nd career INT.
Starters for the Patriots were:
LG D. Thomas
Inactives for the Game:
1. G Logan Mankins (hip/calf)
2. S Steve Gregory (hip)
3. S Patrick Chung (shoulder)
4. RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
5. TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
6. LB Tracy White (foot)
7. DE Trevor Scott (hamstring)
1. QB Austin Davis
2. WR Danny Amendola (shoulder)
3. LB Mario Haggan (thigh)
4. DT Matt Conrath (knee)
5. T Wayne Hunter (back)
6. T Rodger Saffold (knee)
7. DE Eugene Sims (knee)
The spread (Patriots MINUS 7 1/2) WAS covered. The over/under (47) WAS COVERED. I TOOK the points (RAMS) and took the OVER. I am now 2-6 vs. the spread and 5 of 8 calling the under/over.
This is the 11th regular season NFL game played outside the United States and 6th played in London.
Since 1999 the Patriots have the best record in the NFL at 152-64.
Since 2003 New England is 35-7 in October games.
New England is 65-35 on the road since 2000.
The Patriots lead the all-time series 7-5 vs. the Rams, which includes a Super Bowl win.
The Patriots are 4-2 as the road team in the series.
New England had 473 yards of offense on Sunday for the 17th consecutive game. They broke the tie with St. Louis for most consecutive games a team has had at least 350 yards in offense.
Bill Belichick is now 197-107 including playoffs in his career.
Belichick coached teams are 5-1 vs. the Rams, he is 4-1 with New England including a Super Bowl win.
Tom Brady is 3-1 vs. the Rams including 1-0 in the Super Bowl. Overall including playoffs he is 145-44.
Brady has 316 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time. Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.
Brady has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 40 consecutive games.
The Patriots are 85-16 when Brady throws at least 2 TD passes in a game.
WR Wes Welker now has catches in 109 consecutive games including playoffs, 92 as a Patriot. The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.
LB Rob Ninkovich and DE Chandler Jones each had 1 sack on the day for minus 25 yards.
LB Jerod Mayo had a forced fumble.
Mayo and LB Brandon Spikes led the team with 8 tackles each.
Rookie CB Alfonzo Dennard had an INT for the second consecutive week. Rookie S Tavon Wilson also had an INT his 3rd of the season.
Spikes and CB Marquis Cole led the team with 2 passes defensed a piece.
S Nate Ebner led the team in special teams tackles with 3.
Roster moves this week:
on Saturday the Patriots placed CB Ras-I Dowling on IR
signed CB Malcolm Williams from the practice squad
The Patriots sacked St Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford 2 times, while Brady and Ryan Mallett were not sacked.
New England is PLUS 13 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 3 INT and 4 fumbles, while the defense has 9 INTs and 11 fumble recoveries.
The Patriots were 6 for 7 (86%) in the red zone. They had 6 TDs and 1 FG.
New England was 7 for 12 (58%) on third down conversions and 1 for 1 (100%) on 4th down attempts.
Jeff Fisher in his 18th season as a NFL head coach is 145-125. He is 5-6 in the playoffs all with Tennessee/Houston for an overall record of 150-131.
He is 1-6 vs. New England (including the playoffs) in his career, 0-1 with St Louis.
Sam Bradford is 11-23 in his career as a starting QB.
He is 0-1 vs. the Patriots.
St. Louis is 2-4 vs. New England as the home team in the series.
The Rams were 3 for 10 (30%) on 3rd down conversions and 1 for 3 (33.3%) on 4th down attempts.
St Louis was 0 for 1 (0%) in the red zone. Backup QB Kellen Clemens threw a red zone INT.
St. Louis is MINUS 2 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 8 INT and 3 fumbles, while the defense has 8 INTs and 1 fumble recovery.
Walt Coleman was the game referee. The temp at kickoff was 49 (wind chill of 45) and mostly cloudy.
Attendance – 84,004 at Wembley Stadium in London England.
Post Game Interviews
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots QB Tom Brady post game press conference via patriots.com
This Week in the AFC East
Miami ripped the NYJets, 30-9
Buffalo had a bye
AFC East Standings
The Patriots will have their bye week. When they return they host the Buffalo Bills on November 11 at Gillette Stadium. Kick off is at 1 p.m. on CBS.
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photo credit: ap photo