Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Patriots love life in London

New England 45 St Louis Rams 7

On the run: New England Patriots’ Stevan Ridley jumps a tackle during their showpiece game with the St Louis Rams at Wembley

The New England Patriots have played two, won two on their visits to Wembley and quarterback Tom Brady has enjoyed every moment.

Brady threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots routed the St Louis Rams 45-7, an even bigger margin of victory than their 35-7 demolition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London three years ago.

If the NFL is in need of a team to volunteer to come and play at Wembley again in the near future, the Patriots may well take that call.

"It was a fun day for us," Brady said. "It's great to come on a trip like this and put everything together. The guys will have some fun tonight.

"This is a great venue, a beautiful stadium and I know how historic it is. It's a great atmosphere for football. I hope the fans enjoyed the game. I know it got out of hand, but that's how the Patriots enjoy it."

The cold snap that has hit Britain reminded the Patriots of home, where they are used to playing in the snow and Brady enjoyed some old-fashioned football in the rain and mud.

"To play on grass feels like high school football," he said. "With the rain coming down, that's how football's meant to be played. You just get out there."

Coach Bill Belichick, his trademark hoody being put to full use on the touchline, enjoyed it too, relishing the chance to watch his team play on real grass rather than the usual artificial turf.

"It's nice to see those jerseys get a little bit muddy and have players picking dirt off their facemasks," he said. "It's a bit of a throwback here in the mud and rain and it was good old-fashioned football game. I think our guys enjoyed it."

Bad weather could yet prolong the Patriots' visit to London with Hurricane Sandy threatening their travel plans, although Belichick said he did not yet know if they would need to stick around.

The coach, not a fan of changing his team's routine, could leave England happy that they had piled up another big win and one crucial in keeping them on course for the play-offs.

"It's a nice way to finish up the week for us," he said. "I give credit to the way our players performed. They just took care of business and played a good solid game of football.

"It's great to come out of here with another win like that."

While this was officially a home game for the Rams, Patriots fans easily outnumbered St Louis supporters in the stands, where there was the usual dazzling array of NFL jerseys from across the league.

"I felt like it was a pretty neutral crowd, but they were cheering the entire game," said Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo.

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