Tom Brady, Patriots make Wembley a home away from home

  • By Jim Reineking
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It's tough to win on the road, especially when your road game takes you across the Atlantic for the NFL's annual International Series game.

Greatest on the road ...

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Brady and the Patriots had no issues battling the body clock -- the team didn't arrive in London until Friday -- or the "host" St. Louis Rams in a 45-7 conquest at Wembley Stadium. In attempting to prove that jet lag might just be a state of mind, the Patriots rolled off five consecutive touchdown drives after allowing the Rams to take a quick 7-0 lead. In two games in jolly old England since 2009, the Patriots have outscored opponents at an incredible 80-14 rate.

The Patriots have made Wembley their home away from home, and one might find it really quite ironic that the Patriots -- named after those brave folks who challenged the British Red Coats in arguably the greatest of American triumphs, the Revolutionary War -- are extremely popular in England. At the expense of the Rams, the football Patriots made some history of their own Sunday, gaining at least 350 yards of total offense for the 17th consecutive game, breaking an NFL record set by the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams in 1999-2000.

Brady directed the Patriots' offensive onslaught, throwing four touchdown passes and 304 yards. Under Brady's guidance, the Patriots administered the sixth-largest margin of victory for the team under coach Bill Belichick and delivered the second-worst margin of defeat for Rams coach Jeff Fisher (whose worst loss -- a 59-0 defeat -- also came against the Patriots).

Also considered:

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin made the most of his primetime showcase on "Thursday Night Football", romping through the supposedly stout Minnesota Vikings defense for 214 total yards -- including a career-high 135 yards rushing -- in a 36-17 win under the dome in Minneapolis. That Vikings setback at Mall of America Field was the first of the season on their home turf, and made the Buccaneers only the second road team to win on a Thursday night this season (the first being the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener).

Martin scored two touchdowns in the triumph, one via a pass and a second on a run. Martin's total yardage tally was the fifth-highest in Buccaneers team history (James Wilder has the best at 239 yards set in 1983).

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

The Philadelphia Eagles were undefeated coming off the bye week under coach Andy Reid, and the Atlanta Falcons hadn't won in Philly since Ronald Reagan was still the president (Oct. 30, 1988, to be exact). Those two factors helped contribute to many figuring that this would be the week the unbeaten Falcons fell. That didn't happen.

Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes to deliver the Falcons to their first 7-0 start in team history with a convincing 30-17 win. In making Lincoln Financial Field his own personal playground, Ryan also closed in on a milestone. Ryan is 15-0 in his career when he has three or more touchdown passes. Only former Oakland Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica has a better record in such games (19-0).

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.



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