Brady Shines in Patriots 45-7 Rout of Rams in London
The New England Patriots are now 2-0 in Wembley Stadium, after thrashing the St. Louis Rams 45-7 at the famed stadium in London on Sunday.
With the win the Patriots remain on top of the AFC East, as the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 30-9 back in the U.S. Not only can they rest assured that they are the best team in their division, but their decisive rout of the mediocre-but-not-terrible Rams reassured the NFL that they are still a force to be reckoned.
The league’s leading offense put up 473 yards on Sunday, including stellar 100+ yard performances from Rob Gronkowski and Stevan Ridley who contributed 146 yards and two touchdowns and 127 yards and one touchdown respectively. Brandon Lloyd also had an oddly effective game; he caught two touchdown passes for 28 yards as his only catches on the day.
Obviously the guy throwing all of these touchdowns had an okay day for himself too. Tom Brady put on his best performance of the season, completing 23 of 35 pass attempts for 304 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions; good for a 131.1 passer rating.
Defensively things started off shaky for the Pats, as Sam Bradford completed a perfect 50 yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens on the opening drive of the game. New England’s secondary has been notoriously plagued by ineptitude this season, and it looked like Jeff Fisher and Rams were ready to exploit them.
Turns out their first score would also be their last.
Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick wisely decided to focus all of their efforts up front and stifle Sam Bradford before he could get his chances.
Continually impressive rookie Chandler Jones contributed an athletic sack to bring his season total to five, and Rob Ninkovich got his third solo sack of the year. The Rams offensive line struggled all game against the Pats quick up-tempo attack which also featured big plays from reliable linebackers Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes, and Bradford’s receivers even faced some surprising performances from Sterling Moore and Marquis Cole.
Conversely, the Patriots offensive line – without star guard Logan Mankins – had an impressive game; allowing Brady all the time he needed to connect with his receivers.
Chris Givens led all rushers and receivers for the Rams with his 63 yards, 50 of which came on the opening drive touchdown. The next best performance came from running back Daryl Richardson who rushed for 53 yards on seven carries, besting Steven Jackson’s meager 23 yards on seven carries.
The Patriots now head into their bye week, needing the rest after playing 5 of their first 8 games on the road. They’ll see back to back home games when they return from the bye, including their second game against the Buffalo Bills and their first post-Manning meeting with the Colts and first-round draft pick QB Andrew Luck.