The New England Patriots had a mission for week 8: Get in, get the win, go home. Turns out, due to Hurricane Sandy, getting out was the hardest part. The Patriots took out a mediocre St. Louis Rams team, just like they should have to many of their opponents so far.
Tom Brady, with a passer rating of 133, dominated the Rams defense. Rob Gronkowski appeared as though he was never injured, getting nearly 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. And the defense allowed a poor offense one big play for a touchdown early, and that's all. They stopped Steven Jackson from getting the run game going, and therefore their favored play action style of passing game could never get started. Alfonzo Dennard had previously stated the secondary got fooled by the play action, so this was a big step for the group.
The Patriots totally dominated, just like the second half against the Buffalo Bills. They put on a lot of pressure with consistently putting together long drives and forcing the Rams to punt. This is a step in the right direction. With a bye week coming up, and a chance to get key players like Aaron Hernandez and Logan Mankins healthy again, this could be the start of the rest of the year for the 2012 New England Patriots.
Wembley once again shined as a host for the NFL in the UK. Though the tailgate wasn't as impressive as it has been: last years mini museum about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears was pretty cool, with memorabilia such as the cleats Devin Hester wore in Super Bowl XLI, a Walter Payton jersey, and the Vince Lombardi trophy they won in 1985... against the Patriots. However, in stadium the entertainment during game breaks such as "t-shirt guns" and of course cheerleaders.
The atmosphere was good - for the majority of the game. Obviously, when the backup QB's came in during the 4th quarter, and the game over, things went flat, and Rams first downs were ironically cheered. When the players came out for pre game warm ups, Brady was booed more than the Rams were cheered, which gives you the impression of who the neutrals were supporting. 3rd downs got loud, and the crowd simply loved the Gronk show. His changing of the guard spike was one of the highlights of the day.
The Patriots came, saw, and conquered. With the backing of all the UK Patriots, they romped home in style, and go back to Boston with a win, backed by a great performance, and a kick start to the season.
Thanks to all the Patriots fans who got in contact with me on Twitter, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. You can find me here, @Brendanannely