This weekend marks the 3rd time I’ve been to the Wembley Stadium edition of NFL: International Series and the 6th overall when to be honest this may well be the closest I get to an American Football game. I written about my love for the Green Bay Packers, I’ve stated in the past how it would be a dream to go to one game, but those dreams don’t come easy. I love the (highly paraphrased and I can’t remember from who) saying that “if it was easy, everyone would be doing it”, well I’m sure “that’s the aim, I now need the ammo”. Well this weekend is the New England Patriots @ St Louis Rams in a game that will undoubtedly be labelled as a one-sided Patriots win but there is so much that people are taking for granted.
Yes the Patriots have the “Bill Belichick and Tom Brady Connection” which is statistically the most winningest Head Coach and Quarterback duo in league history, a duo that won them 3 Superbowl Trophies in the last 12 years (XXXVI – 2001, XXXVIII – 2003, XXXIX – 2004). In recent history the New England Patriots attacked the 2012 NFL Draft the same way the Green Bay Packers did (Patriots: first 6 of their 7 picks all on the defensive side of the ball. Packers: first 6 of their 8 picks). The St. Louis Rams are a different story as they are a franchise that since roughly 2006 has just had a “pig” of it with losing seasons since 2003 (an 8-8 counts as losing season in my opinion folks, “.500” isn’t an answer in my opinion). They haven’t had a legitimate #1 wide receiver since the days of Isaac Bruce (1994-2007) & Torry Holt (1999-2008) but 2008 really was the “the bottom of the barrel” for the franchise. The St Louis Rams haven’t been a “pass first-run second” offense in a long-long time as it has since 2005 thrown its offense on runningback Steven Jackson. Drafted with the 24th pick in the first round of 2004 Draft but that first season was clearly to “spell an aging Rams legendary Marshall Faulk“.
Now the real fact is that the Rams played blinding (American) Football against the then 4-0 Arizona Cardinals, in a game that taught a bunch about their defensive mettle. The Patriots have always been touted as an offensive powerhouse so no worries there, my concern is the defense for they have already squandered a number of multi-touchdown leads. Its the kind of play that makes the Wembley game that bit automatic as the Patriots have already lost to the Rams divisional rival Arizona Cardinals. I’ve already documented how good the Rams D is and how I love how “Any Given Sunday” is here to stay, and though I went to Nike Town earlier this week and with their “vast array” of NFL swag. Not true for it was an exhibit for the same ol’ teams, but I know that fans of specific teams won’t be disgruntled as they weren’t expecting to be catered for as the NFL is a niche thing in the UK as it is. (Sorry to my best NFL buddy Gord – Arizona Cardinals).