Patriots Humble Bucs In London November 3, 2009
Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was played in an unusual venue, but produced the expected result. In the NFL’s third regular season game in London, England the Patriots showed the Wembley Stadium crowd why they’re among the league’s best as they methodically dismantled the Bucs en route to a 35-7 victory. Oddly, it took a trans-Atlantic trip for the Pats to get their first road win of the season-the Bucs were ‘officially’ the home team in the contest. New England QB Tom Brady threw for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns, though was picked off twice in the workmanlike victory.
The Patriots easily covered the pointspread as -15′ ‘road’ favorites, and improved their record against the number to 4-3 on the season. The Bucs have struggled almost as badly against the NFL pointspread as they have straight up, and slipped to 1-6 versus the money. The 42 combined points scored went UNDER the posted total of 44′. Tampa Bay has gone OVER in four of their seven games, while New England has gone UNDER in 4 of 7.
Afterwards, Pats’ QB Brady said that he’s enjoying the trip to England-as well as the victory:
“I’m feeling great. I keep rolling. That’s two wins in a row. We went out there and put two touchdowns on the board there in the second half. We had plenty of distractions coming over here, but everybody was really energized. To get the win and fly home and have a bye week off is just great.”
NFL football is still a big deal in soccer mad England, and over 80,000 fans jammed the stadium for the game. League commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that he’d like to see multiple regular season games held in London, with a possibility of the city eventually receiving an NFL franchise. Even a superstar like Tom Brady wasn’t quite used to the rock star like treatment he received in England:
“All the flashbulbs were going off there before the kickoff. They went on for about 10 minutes, which you don’t see in the States too often. I think it’s a privilege to come over here and get to enjoy this type of experience. It will probably never happen again for us, so we’ll retire 1-0 internationally.”
Even low key coach Bill Belichick was pleased with the experience:
“It’s a great way to end this week. It’s been an enjoyable couple days here and glad we could end it on a positive note.”
And even in Europe, Bucs’ first year coach Raheem Morris continued to sound like a man in over his head as he made his weekly excuse filled post game comments:
“Tom, he’s the guy that changed the game. He’s the guy you worry about constantly. When you have a great quarterback like that, that’s what he does and that’s what he will do for you.”
The Bucs have now lost 11 straight games, their longest losing streak since a NFL record 26 game losing run in 1976-77. Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe served as honorary captain of Tampa Bay, and they could have done worse than to put a real fighter in the lineup on this day. As Brady noted, New England will have a bye next week as will Tampa Bay.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance writer specializing in casino gambling, travel and sports betting. He has appeared on a number of TV and radio programs offering strategies for successful NFL football betting. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a pet llama. He is currently writing a biography of former NFL quarterback Jim Plunkett.