Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 25 October 2009

Patriots beat Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium

The New England Patriots defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 this evening at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

The blowout came as no surprise with the undefeated Patriots facing the winless Buccaneers, but it didn't put off an 80,000+ crowd in the English capital who created a fantastic atmosphere with a variety of colours in the crowd; shirts from each of the 32 NFL teams plus several British team shirts also.

The Patriots opened the scoring when Brandon Meriweather picked off Josh Johnson and ran it back 39 yards for the score inside 3 minutes. The Buccaneers were never in the game, and were never expected to be with the Patriots looking like genuine Superbowl contenders. Johnson completed 9/26 for 156 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions before he was benched to be replaced by first round draft pick, Josh Freeman late on.

Tom Brady's numbers were good but for two out-of-character interceptions, both in the first half. He completed 23/32 for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns. 1 of those went to Wes Welker who was a star on the Wembley turf, catching 10 balls for 107 yards and the first offensive touchdown of the game.

Coming into the game the British media took a more professional approach this time, with no questions about red buses and fish and chips asked to the players as this fixture gets better and better each year. The popularity of it has caused serious rumours about a 2nd game in Britain per season and even some outrageous rumours of a franchise moving to London. The latter I would take with a pinch of salt as the logistics behind it seem unreasonable and would ultimately be a big fail.

Despite the uncompetitiveness of the match, it proved a big success as the NFL continues to grow in popularity in England.

And for the record, our NFL Tipster correctly picked the Patriots to win by 15 points or more in his week 7 picks :)

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