New England's win over the Rams in Old England was about as lopsided as it gets. Surprising to no one, the 45-7 victory had the Patriots in as good of moods Sunday night as we've seen all season.
They will enter Week 9 on the upswing of 5-3, just as they did in 2011.
Here's some of the best post-game sound from both sides.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on playing at London's Wembley Stadium:
BB: "The stadium was great. Playing on grass is always good. We play most of our games on turf. It's good to see the jerseys muddy, grass stains. Guys picking up dirt out of their facemasks, stuff like that. We don't see a lot of that back in the States. We see grass fields down in Florida, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville. It's Florida grass. We were out there in the mud and rain. Good oldfashioned football game. I think our guys liked it."
The night definitely had a different look. Between the rain and the colorfully lined grass, it didn't take long for players to look like they'd engaged in more of a paintball battle than a football game. Offensive lineman Nate Solder's belly was so splotched with red it appeared he got shot right in the gut.
And there were divots everywhere. One memorable tackle saw linebacker Brandon Spikes pop back up with a huge chunk of dirt and grass lodged in his helmet.
You had to wonder during the week if the real grass would slow the game down at all. There were a few slips, but overall, the surface didn't appear to bother New England much, as Belichick noted.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the crowd noise at Wembley:
TB: "There's times when the crowd's really into it. They booed us. "
They certainly did. New England's 45-7 lead was built and unchallenged with more than 11 minutes left in the game. Backup QB Ryan Mallett was inserted into the contest on the Patriots' next series.
That alone wasn't enough to make local Londoners break out a Bronx cheer. No, the boos rained down on Mallett's second drive when he kneeled instead of trying to run the score up further on the Rams.
Brady continued on the difference between the crowd at Wembley and the crowds in the U.S:
"Were the fans more engaged? I think they liked seeing the action. There were a lot of stoppages between the timeouts. There were quite a few stoppages today. That's how the game is played."
It's an interesting point when you think about it: British (European, really) football fans are raised to worship a sport with a clock that doesn't stop. Think about all the breaks in an NFL game; the locals must have either loved the beer breaks or been bored to tears.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford on the fast start by St. Louis:
SB: "Yeah, you can't ask for a better start to the game. First time we touch the ball, go down and score, exactly what we plan to do and then it just all fell apart from there."
It's amazing how the team's first, lightning-like touchdown drive indicated absolutely nothing as to the rest of the night would go. St. Louis scored on a five-play drive that took little over two and a half minutes. The weird thing is, the 50-yard touchdown strike looked just like a 46-yarder thrown to Seattle's Sidney Rice just two weeks ago. In that moment, it looked like the Rams were going to have their way with the Patriots secondary just like other teams have. Especially considering the receiver on that score, Chris Givens, set a record on the play with five-straight games with a 50-plus yard catch.
Bradford on thinking the offense would perform better against the Patriots secondary:
SB: "You look at their defense and I think they were 30th defending the pass, so we came into this game really expecting to move the ball."
At least Bradford did his homework.
Sometimes cornerback-sometimes safety, Devin McCourty on keeping the whole unit together despite adversity, including a head injury to corner Kyle Arrington:
"I felt today I did a better job communicating, getting all those guys on the right track. Actually once you have some moving parts back there, guys go down, it's important everybody lines up and plays the same defense.
"They put me back there, put me in charge of making sure everyone knows what they're doing. I felt I did a better job this week than last week. Things started to slow down for me back there."
With the continued absences of safeties Pat Chung and Steve Gregory, it looks like McCourty will continue getting reps at the position. If nothing else, it helped balance the youth in the secondary when he started alongside rookie Tavon Wilson in the backend and Arrington paired with rookie Alfonzo Dennard at cornerback.
There will be a serious lack of depth to consider in general if Arrington is out for long. Cornerback Ras-I Dowling was placed on IR just two days ago with a torn thigh muscle. Marquice Cole got more minutes Sunday night and played well, but left the game in the fourth quarter in an injury.
The bye week couldn't come soon enough.
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork on tight end Rob Gronkowski's big night:
VW: "He's a funny guy. I always say, if somebody doesnt like him, that person has the problem because he's very likable. Hes just one of those guys that you can't get mad at. Even if you do something wrong, you yell at him, but you feel bad yelling at him. He is always coming up with something. He always seems to find a way to come up big for this team. Once again, he did it tonight."
That's a lot of love for Gronkowski's character from the big D-tackle. But some compliments about on-field play should have been thrown in, too. The tight end had eight catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second 100-plus yard receiving night of the season, but offensive night by a mile.
Brady on Gronkowski's enthusiastic touchdown celebrations:
TB: "I don't know what the hell he was doing that first time. I was just trying to get out of the way so he wouldn't get fined. But, yeah, he needs some work on that."
You can read more about those here. Pret-ty funny stuff.