Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/28/12
To those few who had the audacity to imagine that Sam Bradford could out-duel the great Tom Brady and his high power attack, try not to take it too hard. He's still got it and he's gonna keep on winning games. So stop dissing on that arm- he still looks like the quarterback who wins Super Bowls.Oh, and for the pundits who claimed that this game in London, England was not an important one- the Rams came into it needing a win to get them back into the NFC West race, and Bradford needed a good game to get back on track to becoming the quarterback the Rams drafted as a number 1 pick.And I also have to give props to Josh MaDaniels for calling a good game. It looked like a good mix between the run and pass, something which has been missing in recent weeks. Maybe he has earned a stay of execution going into the bye week. Good execution and playing with a lead always helps, too.But what happened to the Rams and a defense that disrupted opponents' passing games? Not only did they not disrupt the Patriot's passing game, they forced 0 turnovers (that's zero, zip, nada) and couldn't even get their hands on Brady!The New England offense quickly answered the first possession score by St. Louis and never looked back.I was all prepared to come down hard on the Patriot secondary, especially after giving up a long pass play for a touchdown so early in the game. But they clamped down on the Ram attack, forcing a couple of interceptions and getting to Bradford repeatedly throughout the game. Even though only 2 sacks were recorded, Sam found himself running for his life on several plays. This unit also held Steven Jackson to just 23 yards- STEVEN JACKSON! I think we've figured out the strength of this defense.If I give the Hero Award to any one player there is sure to be at least 1 person to argue that somebody else should get it; Brady threw for over 300 yards, Gronkowski had 2 touchdowns and a 100+ receiving yard game, Brandon Lloyd caught 2 touchdown passes, Ridley ran for another along the way to a 127 yard day, 2 rookie DBs intercepted passes today, and the defense pretty much shut down a potent running game AND a decent passing game!I can't very well say that the entire team wins the hero award, but I guess that the best individual performance has to be the Gronk, with his 2 TD, 146 yard campaign. Rob Gronkowski continues to be a big, reliable target for Brady and he always finishes his runs going forward, over or through the tacklers. And who can argue with those spikes?!Zero of the game will indeed go to a group- the Ram defense, which allowed the Patriot offense to romp for almost 500 yards, vaulting the Brady-led Patriots into first place all-time with 17 straight games over 350 total yards. This IS the league's number 1 offense, clearly too much for one of the youngest defenses in the NFL. The overmatched D had to resort to pass-interference in the wake of the onslaught they faced.The Ram defenders had no answer for the New England running game, which literally rediscovered its feet again. The Patriots pounded the Ram defense for over 150 yards on the ground, in addition to torching the secondary for 321 yards.We'll keep an eye on Wes Welker's ankle situation, which may have hampered his route running all day.Another plus, attendance was up for once- crowd size had been steadily decreasing in NFL Europe games over the last few years. This may be good news in the push to extend the league overseas permanently. Or maybe it was just support for the team from New England...
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