Patriots 45

(5-3, 3-2 away)

Rams 7

(3-5, 3-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 28, 2012

Wembley Stadium, London 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 7 21 10 745
STL 7 0 0 07

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 304 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: S. Ridley (NE) - 15 CAR, 127 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. Gronkowski (NE) - 8 REC, 146 YDS, 2 TD

Pats score on 1st 5 possessions, rout Rams in London

Associated Press

LONDON -- The New England Patriots showed that old England is their domain as well.

After the Patriots gave up an early 50-yard scoring play, Tom Brady responded by leading five straight touchdown drives Sunday, and New England (5-3) ran over the St. Louis Rams 45-7 in the NFL's annual regular-season game at Wembley Stadium.

"I hope they enjoyed the game today, all the fans," Brady said, "I know it got out of hand there, but that's how the Patriots like it. So it was a fun game for us."

Yes, for one night at least, the Pats -- Expats on this occasion- were back to blowing away opponents. According to Brady, though, there's still plenty of room for improvement.

"We've got a long way to go. ... We certainly haven't played our best football yet," he said. "Coach says the season doesn't start until after Thanksgiving, and it isn't even Halloween yet."

This offense is looking quite scary, though.

New England had at least 350 yards of total offense for the 17th straight game, breaking an NFL record set by the Rams in 1999-2000, back when Kurt Warner was leading "The Greatest Show on Turf."

This was arguably the greatest show put on by a team in London since the NFL started staging regular-season games here in 2007 -- or at least the most dominating. New England gave the British crowd a first-hand look at the league's top-ranked offense.

Brady led four straight touchdown drives for a commanding 28-7 lead by halftime, and then hit Brandon Lloyd for a 9-yard score to start the third quarter.

Brady passed for 304 yards with four touchdowns, and tight end Rob Gronkowski caught eight passes for 146 yards and two scores. Lloyd also had two touchdown catches, while Stevan Ridley ran for 127 yards and a score as the Patriots put themselves atop the AFC East heading into their off week.

The Rams (3-5), who also will be off, are last in the NFC West after losing two in a row.

The Rams struck first when Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens with a 50-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game -- exactly the kind of statement the team hoped to make to ruffle the favored Patriots.

But St. Louis, which arrived in London on Tuesday -- three days before the Patriots -- to get better adjusted to the time difference, was the team that looked jetlagged the rest of the way.

"You can't ask for a better start to the game. First time we touched the ball we go down and score," Bradford said. "It just all fell apart from there."

After the Rams took the lead, Brady led a 78-yard drive to tie the score with a 19-yard pass to Lloyd. On his team's next drive, coach Bill Belichick opted to go for it on fourth down at the 1-yard line, and Shane Vereen broke into the end zone.

It was the only fourth down the Rams forced until the middle of the third quarter, when the Patriots had to settle for a 26-yard field goal to make it 38-7.

In between, Brady hit Gronkowski on a 7-yard touchdown pass and Ridley had another 1-yard run into the end zone 10 seconds before halftime.

Gronkowski celebrated both his touchdowns with theatrical spikes to fire up the crowd, doing a high-stepping strut before the first one to mimic a local tourist attraction. That led to questions about what the move was called, a Changing of the Gronk, a FrankenGronk, or what?

"That was a 'Palace Guard,'" the tight end said jokingly.

Even Brady was a bit perplexed.

"I don't know what the hell he was doing on that first one," Brady said. "I was trying to get out of the way. He needs some work on that."

St. Louis only had one other scoring opportunity in the first half, but botched the snap on a 52-yard field goal attempt.

Givens' touchdown gave him a reception of at least 50 yards for the fifth straight game, a rookie record, but he left temporarily with a toe injury and only managed two more catches after returning. Running back Steven Jackson was also largely shut down, finishing with 23 yards on seven carries. Bradford was 23 of 31 for 205 yards and added an interception in the fourth quarter before being replaced by backup Kellen Clemens near the end.

"It's embarrassing the way we played tonight," Bradford said. "Just embarrassing."

New England became the first team to win two games in London, having beaten Tampa Bay here in 2009. As expected, the Patriots also had the majority of crowd support from the 84,004 fans at Wembley, despite the Rams being the designated home team.

That, however, didn't stop backup quarterback Ryan Mallett from getting booed when taking a knee to run out the clock -- one of the few aspects of the American version of football the British crowd didn't seem to appreciate.

Belichick had no complaints about the atmosphere, though.

"The stadium was great," he said. "Playing on grass is always good. ... It's good to see the jerseys muddy, grass stains. Guys picking up dirt out of their facemasks, stuff like that. We don't see a lot of that back in the States."

Game notes

The Rams had originally agreed to return to London in 2013 and 2014 but pulled out of the deal. ... The NFL will stage two regular-season games in London in 2013 for the first time. ... The Patriots didn't punt until 2:36 left in the third quarter. ... Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola missed his third straight game with a right shoulder injury. ... Flamboyant London Mayor Boris Johnson addressed the crowd before the game, saying he was proud to welcome "this glorious descendant of rugby union football" to Wembley.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2917
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6657
Total Yards473326
Yards per play7.25.7
Total Drives1010
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

stlTD12:35Chris Givens 50 Yard Pass From Sam Bradford (Greg Zuerlein Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 2:35
neTD7:56Brandon Lloyd 19 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yds, 4:35
neTD14:16Shane Vereen 1 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 83 yds, 4:31
neTD6:31Rob Gronkowski 7 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yds, 3:29
neTD0:14Stevan Ridley 1 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 56 yds, 1:42
neTD12:27Brandon Lloyd 9 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 2:36
neFG6:58Stephen Gostkowski 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 58 yds, 3:02
neTD11:23Rob Gronkowski 14 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 55 yds, 3:31

Research Notes

Tom Brady had a Total QBR of 98.4 in Sunday's win over the Rams, tied for his highest in a single game over the last 5 seasons.
Stevan Ridley had 15 rushes for 127 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Ridley rushed for 99 yards before contact, his second-highest total in a game this season, and had three rushes of at least 20 yards. Ridley entered Sunday with a pair of 20-yard runs on his 135 rushes the season.
With tight end Aaron Hernandez missing Sunday's game against the Rams, the Patriots' offense used at least three wide receivers on 32 of Brady's 35 dropbacks (91.4 pct). That was the second-highest percentage of dropbacks the Patriots have used at least three wide receivers in a game since drafting Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The only game with a higher percentage was Week 3 of 2011, a 34-31 loss in Buffalo that Hernandez also missed.
Halfway through his third season, Rob Gronkowski has 34 touchdown receptions. Only four players in the last 50 seasons have more.
This is Tom Brady's 50th game with at least three passing touchdowns. Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino are the only other quarterbacks with as many three-touchdown games.
From Elias: With a 50-yard receiving touchdown today, Chris Givens has five straight weeks with a 50+ yard reception (longest active streak in the NFL). The last player with a 50+ yard reception in five straight games was Pat Studstill for the Lions in 1966.

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