The New England Patriots blew out the St. Louis Rams after a series of uncomfortably close games and blown leads, winning 45-7 in Wembley Stadium in London.
Although the Pats allowed a 50-yard touchdown reception for Chris Givens on their first defensive series, they shut out the Rams the rest of the way while racking up six touchdowns. Patriots blogger Greg Knopping summarized what the win meant for a team that's struggled to put away opponents late thus far in 2012, in his Pats Pulpit's postgame recap.
The Patriots still have some things to work on heading into the bye week, and will definitely benefit from the extra week off to get healthy. Today, we saw exactly how good this Patriots team can be. The question now, can the carry the momentum from today into a more consistent second half of the season?
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, but the story of the day was a strong performance by a New England defense that has been weak thus far this year. A much-criticized secondary stepped up to hold St. Louis to single digit points and only let the opposition get loose once, while forcing Sam Bradford into a pair of interceptions. Tony Santorsa reacted to the defense's strong play in a post on what can be learned from the team's performance:
Who would have thought? The Patriots can play some defense.
Granted, it was against a rather mediocre offensive attack in the St. Louis Rams, but New England's did what they had to do.
New England is 5-3 after the win, having won four of their last five. They're on top of the AFC East, with a bye week next on the docket.