PHOTOS: Patriots Invade London, Dominate Rams in 45-7 Blowout
The New England Patriots won convincingly against the Rams in London to improve to 5-3 this season.
NOTE: View the photo gallery above for scenes from Sunday's 45-7 Patriots' victory at Wembley Stadium in London.
That's more like it.
After hearing plenty of criticism from fans and media that they struggle to beat "lesser opponents" and close teams out, the New England Patriots put forth their most convincing effort of the season.
The Patriots (5-3) dismantled the St. Louis Rams (3-5) in London Sunday enroute to a 45-7 blowout victory at Wembley Stadium.
Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns - two to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and two to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Running back Stevan Ridley also had a big day for the offense, picking up 127 yards on 15 carries and scoring a touchdown. The Pats' defense allowed just one touchdown on the day - a Chris Givens 50-yard touchdown on a pass from quarterback Sam Bradford in the first quarter.
Here's a compilation of game notes from Sunday's win in Foxborough, courtesy of the Patriots Media Relations Department:
PATRIOTS SET NFL RECORD FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 350 OR MORE YARDS
The Patriots gained a total of 473 yards of offense against the Rams, and have now gained at least 350 total yards in 17 consecutive games to set an NFL record. The Patriots entered the game tied with the St. Louis Rams with a streak of 16 games.
PATRIOTS ARE 2-0 IN LONDON
The Patriots improved to a 2-0 record in the NFL’s International series in London after beating the Rams 45-7. The Patriots beat Tampa Bay 35-7 on Oct. 25, 2009 in their first visit to London.
ROB GRONKOWSKI HAS SECOND TWO-TOUCHDOWN GAME OF 2012 AND 11th CAREER GAME WITH AT LEAST TWO RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS
Rob Gronkowski scored two touchdowns for the second straight week. He scored on a 7-yard pass in the second quarter and a 14-yard pass in the fourth quarter for his 11th game of his career with two or more touchdown receptions in a game. Last season, Gronkowski set an NFL record for a tight end with seven games with two touchdown receptions. The NFL record for most two-plus reception games in a season is eight by Randy Moss with the Patriots in 2007. Gronkowski’s 2011 total is tied with Cris Carter (1995) and Jerry Rice (1987) for the second most games with two or more touchdowns in a single season.
GRONKOWSKI HAS EIGHTH CAREER 100-YARD GAME
Gronkowski registered his second 100-yard game of the season and his eighth career 100-yard game after finishing the game with 146 yards on eight receptions. The `1146 yards are second to the 160 he had at Washington (12-11-11). Gronkowski had five receptions for 106 yards in the first half. It is the second time in his career that he had 100 or more yards receiving in the first half. He had four receptions for 118 yards at Washington in the first half on Dec. 11, 2011. Gronkowski (8) needs one more 100-yard game to tie Ben Coates (9) for the most 100-yard games by a Patriots tight end. In 2011, Gronkowski tied a team mark for a tight end with five 100-yard games. Ben Coates had five 100-yard games in 1994.
GRONKOWSKI NOW HAS 35 CAREER TOUCHDOWNS (34 RECEIVING AND 1 RUSHING)
Since he entered the NFL in 2010, Gronkowski has 34 career touchdown receptions and 35 total touchdowns. The NFL record for most overall touchdowns in a player’s first three NFL seasons is 47 by Barry Sanders and the record for most touchdown receptions in a player’s first three NFL seasons is 43 by Randy Moss. Gronkowski (10 touchdowns in 2010 and 18 in 2011) can become the first tight end in NFL history with three straight 10-plus touchdown seasons. Gronkowski and Antonio Gates (13 in 2004 and 10 in 2005) are the only tight ends to have back-to-back 10-plus touchdown seasons.
GRONKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH WITH EIGHT RECEPTIONS
Gronkowski tied a career high with his eight receptions against the Rams. He had eight receptions three times in 2011.
PATRIOTS OFFENSE ON PACE TO SET THE NFL RECORD FOR MOST FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON
The Patriots have 232 first downs through eight games this season, giving them an average of 29 per game and a pace to finish the year with 464, which would smash the NFL record of 416 total first downs by New Orleans in 2011. The Patriots’ 399 first downs in 2011 are second all-time in NFL history.
PATRIOTS ON PACE TO BREAK FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST NET YARDS.
The Patriots have 3,526 net yards through the first eight games in 2012 and are on pace to finish with 7,052 yards, a total which would rank third in NFL history. The Patriots finished the 2011 season with 6,848 total net yards, setting a new franchise record for most total net yards in a season. That total is fourth all-time in NFL history.
WELKER EXTENDS STREAK TO 102 CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE RECEPTION
Wes Welker extended his streak to 102 straight regular season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins. He has a streak of 85 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has caught at least one pass in each of his 92 games with the Patriots, including seven postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with Miami. He is one of 39 NFL players to have a streak of at least 100 games with one reception.
WELKER RECEPTION PACE
Wes Welker has 60 receptions through eight games this season and is on pace to total 120 catches in 2012. If Wes Welker reaches 100 receptions in 2012, he will become the first player in NFL history with five 100-catch seasons. Welker’s four seasons with 100 or more receptions ties Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice for the NFL record.
GRONKOWSKI ON PACE FOR ANOTHER SOLID SEASON
After his two-touchdown performance against the Rams, Rob Gronkowski has 43 catches for 580 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. If Gronkowski keeps up his current 2012 pace, he would finish with 86 catches for 1,160 yards and 14 touchdowns.
RIDLEY HAS HIS FIFTH 100-YARD GAME OF 2012; GAINED 92 YARDS IN THIRD QUARTER
Stevan Ridley had his fifth career 100 yard game and fifth of the 2012 season after finishing with 15 carries for 127 yards with one touchdown and an average of 8.5 yards per carry. He had 92 yards rushing in the third quarter. The Patriots record for most 100-yard games in a season is nine by Curtis Martin in 1995. The last Patriots player to have at least five 100-yard rushing days was Corey Dillon with eight in 2004.
RIDLEY HAS FIVE RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS; ON PACE TO FINISH WITH 10
Ridley scored his fifth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. He is on pace to finish with 10 touchdowns this season. It would be 13th time in Patriots history that a running back finished a season with 10 or more touchdowns rushing.
RIDLEY RUNS LONG
Ridley had a career-long run of 41 yards in the third quarter. His previous best was a 33-yard touchdown run at Oakland (10-2-11). He also had runs of 20 yards and 30 yards in the game. He now has 10 runs of 20 or more yards in his career to tie Kevin Faulk, behind Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith with 30 and Laurence Maroney with 11.
RIDLEY STARTS STRONG
Stevan Ridley has a total of 716 rushing yards through eight games this season. Ridley is on pace to total 1,432 rushing yards, which would give him the 15th 1,000-yard rushing season in Patriots history and make him the 12th Patriots’ player to reach 1,000 yards rushing.
CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN PASS CONTINUES FOR BRADY
Tom Brady has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 40 straight regular season games following a 19-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon Lloyd in the first quarter. It is the third longest streak, behind Drew Brees at 49 (current) and Johnny Unitas (47) (1956-60). Brady’s current streak started when he threw a touchdown pass in all 16 games in 2010 and 2011 and now the first five games of 2012. The old team record was 19 games, also set by Brady.
BRANDON LOYD HAS TWO TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS
Brandon Lloyd had two touchdown receptions. It is the first time he has had a two touchdown game with the Patriots and the fifth time in his career that he has scored at least two touchdowns in a game.
BRADY HAS HIS 50TH 300-YARD GAME TO MOVE PAST WARREN MOON WITH THE 7TH MOST 300 YARD GAMES
Tom Brady had his 50th career 300-yard game after finishing with 304 yards vs. St. Louise to move past hall of famer Warren Moon for the seventh most 300-yard games in NFL history.
BRADY HAS FIFTH 300-YARD GAME OF THE SEASON.
Brady had his fifth 300-yard game of the 2012 season with the 304 against St. Louis. In 2011, Brady had a personal best 11 300 yard games. The NFL record for most 300-yard games in a season is 13 by Drew Brees (2011).
BRADY IS AVERAGING 301 YARDS PER GAME SO FAR IN 2012
Brady is averaging 250.1 yards per game for his career after today. Brady entered this week’s game as one of only five NFL quarterbacks in NFL history to average 250 or more yards per game. Last season, Brady averaged 327.2 per game, the second highest in a single season, behind Drew Brees’ 342.3 yards per game in 2011.
PATRIOTS GO OVER 30 POINTS FOR FIFTH TIME IN 2012; PATRIOTS TIED NFL RECORD FOR MOST 30-POINT GAMES IN A SINGLE SEASON IN 2011
The New England Patriots scored 45 points in the win vs. St. Louis for their fifth game in 2012 with 30 or more points. The Patriots scored 30 points 12 times in 2011 to tie the NFL record for most 30-point games in a single season. The 2007 Patriots and the 1999 St. Louis Rams also had 12 30 point games. The NFL record for most consecutive 30-point games in a single season is eight by the 2007 and 2010 Patriots and the 2000 St.
ROOKIE DE CHANDLER JONES REGISTERS SIXTH SACK OF THE SEASON
Rookie DE Chandler Jones registered his team-leading sixth sack of the season on when he dropped Sam Bradford for a 17-yard loss in the third quarter. If he reached 10 sacks for the year he will become the 15th player to reach a 10-sack season in Patriots history.
DL ROB NINKOVICH RECORDS HIS FIFTH SACK OF THE SEASON
DL Rob Ninkovich registered a fourth quarter sack for his fifth of the season. Ninkovich had a career-high with 6.5 sacks in 2011.
WILSON HAS THREE NFL INTERCEPTIONS TO MATCH HIS CAREER TOTAL IN COLLEGE
Rookie Tavon Wilson intercepted a fourth quarter pass and returned it 45 yards for his third interception of the season. Wilson had three interceptions during his college career at Illinois.
SECOND-YEAR QB RYAN MALLET SEE FIRST NFL ACTION
Second-year QB Ryan Mallett entered the game in the fourth quarter for his first NFL action. He completed his first NFL pass to RB Shane Vereen for 17 yards.
MOST GAMES WITH THREE TOUCHDOWNS AND NO INTERCEPTIONS
Tom Brady had his second game of 2012 with at least three touchdowns and no interceptions after throwing for four against the Rams. His other game was at Buffalo (9/30) with three touchdowns. His 33 games with at least is third all-time.
BRADY HAS 17TH GAME WITH FOUR OR MORE TOUCHDOWNS
Brady now has 17 games with four or more touchdowns and the Patriots are 16-1 in those games. He has thrown for four touchdowns in a game 13 times.