Now that the Jets are firmly in the rearview and the Pats have regained their rightful spot atop the AFC East, we can move on to more pressing matters. Like this week's game against the Rams … in London.
New England is headed to Old England as part of the NFL's efforts to make football a global spectacle. The last time they made the journey: 2009. The Pats traveled across the Atlantic, whipped up on the Bucs in a Week 7 game to move to 5-2, then proceed to finish the season 5-4 before losing to the Ravens in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Only 14 players remain from that squad. Not surprisingly, those that are still around aren't making too much of it. It's just another week, another game and business as usual.
"It's a long trip but it's not too much farther like when we went to Seattle," said kicker Stephen Gosktowski, who was with the team in '09. "I doubt we'll have too much time to really enjoy (it), or go sight-seeing. … It will be a good experience if we play well and come home with a win," he said. "Then we'll have a really good time."
Safety Steve Gregory has played in London but he did it as a member of the Chargers during the 2008 season. He's missed the last three games with an injury, which has had a lot to do with the secondary's struggles in recent weeks. He's still not sure if he's healthy enough to make the trip this time but recalls fondly his previous trip across the pond.
"It was great," he said. "Obviously I'd never been there before, so to see London, the overall experience was amazing," Gregory said of his 2008 trip. "Playing in that stadium. Some of the people had all different jerseys on and stuff. I think they were cheering more when the guys kicked a field goal than a regular play, but it was fun, it was a good time.
"Just to be in a different country, see their culture, what it's like over there, it's different than being in America. You get to interact with the people over there, [it] was definitely something you could take with you."
But this ain't a vacation. And as such, coach Bill Belichick will adjust the team's schedule accordingly. They'll leave for England on Thursday evening.
"We're going to try to add a little bit of extra time to rest and get adjusted and all that, rather than spend it on a lot of game planning and that kind of thing," he said.
"I don't want to say it's a lost day, but certainly it's a big transition day for us. And then Saturday, hopefully we can get back into our regular routine on Saturday and treat Saturday kind of like a normal Saturday, if you will."