LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Stevan Ridley #22 of the New England Patriots in action during the NFL International Series match between the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
The Patriots had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to play a football game, but they left little doubt about the state of their offense before they left London, England to return to the States. By the time it was over, New England won going way, 45-7 and any questions about Tom Brady were long forgotten before the final whistle.
The Rams jumped out to a 7-0 first-quarter lead, which they enjoyed for a grand total of four and a half minutes. Because the Pats opened the floodgates with four touchdowns before the half (two Brady TD passes, two TD runs -- one from Steven Ridley, the other from Shane Vereen), and added 17 more after the break. The highlight? Two Rob Gronkowski touchdown catches and the subsequent celebrations that went with them.
The first was an homage to the Queen's Guard followed by the familiar Gronk spike. The second … well, we're still not sure what was going on. And we're not alone.
"I don't know what the hell he was doing," Brady said after the game. "I was trying to get out of the way so he didn't get fined. He needs some work on that."
Overall, though, Brady didn't have much to complain about.
"Offensively we played pretty well in the first half, " he said. "Made some plays there in the third quarter, fourth quarter we put it away. It was great to come into a trip like this and put everything into it. We've got the bye week next week and it's a good feeling. I'm sure guys will have fun tonight."
Not surprisingly, Brady's knows there's a lot of season left.
"We've got a long way to go," he said. "We've still got to play eight games, [and] we certainly have to play our best football. Hopefully we get some guys healthy, head back into the swing of things here with the bye week, have a good week of practice, Wednesday or Thursday, then hopefully start playing some good football here in the second half. We need to."
Next up: the Pats are now on their bye and then it's back to the grind. They'll host the Bills and Colts before hitting the road against the Jets and Dolphins.
First things first: Brady knows that New England not only has to get healthy over the next 13 days, they also have to get better.
There's a lot of teams that are going to start making improvements, there are going to be teams that go the other way," Brady said. "I hope we're one of those teams that continues to get better and uses the games they've already played as -- you learn from those and try to make improvements there. Try to move on from the bad things and get to the stuff that's working."
Coach Bill Belichick, meanwhile, was his usual laconic self after the game.
"I certainly like the results," he said. "It was a good win for us against Tampa [the last time the Pats were in London] and it was a real good win for us today. It's a great feeling to walk out of here feeling like you played well and knowing that you can kind of relax for a little bit here. ... It feels good to come to London and get these kind of results."