New England Dominates In Olde England: 5 Notes From The Patriots Victory
The New England Patriots showed little weakness on Sunday, and destroyed the London Silly Nannies St. Louis Rams 45-7, in front of 84,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London. Here are five things we learned from the game:
1.) Stevan Ridley CAN destroy defenses. Ridley had only 15 carries in the game but he rushed for a total of 127 yards. In the 3rd quarter alone, Ridley ran for over 90 yards including a 30 yard rush, and then a career high 40 yard rush. Along with his 127 yards, Ridley scored a touchdown in the first quarter that out the Patriots on top for good at 14-7. Sunday was Ridley’s 4th game of the season with over 100 yards, and by far it was his most dominant performance.
2.) Gronk is back. After struggling a bit over the past 4 weeks, Rob Gronkowski came out strong as he had 8 receptions for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. The best part of Gronk’s game was most definitely his homage to “that little nutcracker guy” (in reference to Buckingham Palace guards, maybe). This game proved that Gronkowski is capable of coming up big, and getting to space even without Aaron Hernandez on the field, as Hernandez did not play. The game also puts to bed any concerns over a Gronkowski injury.
3.) The Patriots Secondary can still get Lit up. Sure the Patriots defense only gave up 7 points all game, but the one score they allowed came early in the 1st quarter when Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens for a 50 yard touchdown pass. The Patriots secondary looked like they have all season on that play, sloppy. The reason the Rams didn’t score again is because they didn’t attempt to beat the secondary much more than that. Had the Rams offense kept firing deep, they may have been able to keep this game close. Instead the Rams leaned on short passes and rushing, and Patriots were able to shut them down.
4.) Brandon Lloyd has proven to be a positive pick up. Brandon Lloyd only had 2 catches against his former team, but they were crucial as they were both Touchdown receptions. Sure Lloyd has had some troubles this season with catching the ball, but he has been huge as a deep threat for Brady to use at will, or as a short pass receiver. There’s no doubt that Lloyd and offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels wanted to look good in front of their former team from last year, and they proved what they could do.
5.) The Patriots Offensive Line can protect the Quarterback. For the first time this season Tom Brady avoided getting sacked. That is thanks to the Patriots offensive line for not letting defenders have the chance to get to him. With the protection he had, Brady made the plays he needed to, and he had a classic Brady-like game throwing for 304 yards, 4 touchdowns, and not throwing an interception.
Sure the Rams are not a good team, but winning a game by such a big margin still feels good for the Patriots and their fans. The Patriots are familiar with playing in England and seem to enjoy it very much as they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in 2009 when they squared off at Wembley Stadium. The Patriots, 5-3, now enjoy a bye week before facing the Buffalo Bills in two weeks at Gillette Stadium.