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Sunday Football Notes

Patriots need to take steps to get back on track

Luke Knox/Globe Staff

Far away games

The Patriots make a return trip to Wembley Stadium today, with the Rams playing there for the first time. The NFL has held one regular-season game in London every year since 2007, and next season will play two, including the first of the Jaguars' four-year commitment to the International Series.


2007: Giants 13, Dolphins 10

The first NFL regular-season game outside of North America was played in a rainy muck, keeping both teams on the ground (combining for 13 more rushes than pass attempts). New York did it better, piling up 189 yards rushing (131 by Brandon Jacobs) to hang on after holding a 13-0 halftime lead.

2008: Saints 37, Chargers 32

Improved game conditions treated fans to a greater aerial ouput. Drew Brees (30 of 41, 339 yards, 3 TDs) and Philip Rivers (25 of 40, 341 yards, 3 TDs) played to a statistical standstill but San Diego couldn't come all the way back from a 37-20 fourth-quarter deficit.

2009: Patriots 35, Buccaneers 7

Julian Finney/Getty Images

The only true blowout at Wembley was predictable as the winless Bucs gave up a defensive score on their first possession and trailed by three touchdowns early in the second quarter. Afterward Tom Brady erroneously predicted the Patriots would "retire 1-0 internationally."

2010: 49ers 24, Broncos 16

Filling in because of injury, Troy Smith did what was needed as San Francisco's QB (i.e. play turnover-free), and that allowed the Niners to score 21 fourth-quarter points while overcoming Denver's Kyle Orton-Brandon Lloyd connection (24.1-yard average on seven receptions).

2011: Bears 24, Buccaneers 18

Tampa Bay put on a better show in its second London appearance; not so much its QB, as Josh Freeman threw four interceptions to give the Bucs' passers seven total picks at Wembley. Chicago showed balance on offense, with Matt Forte (145 yards, TD) getting 25 of the 33 carries.

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