Oct 29 2012
After taking a battering from the New England Patriots, the St Louis Rams will likely leave London grateful they have backed out of a deal to come back again for the next two years but coach Jeff Fisher still gave a glowing reference to the Wembley experience.
Fisher's young Rams team had no answer to a vintage performance from New England quarterback Tom Brady, who threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-7 Patriots romp.
"Every loss isn't the same," he said. "I was really pleased with the way the guys handled the week. Obviously you don't anticipate this, but one of the things I do believe, if you put this game aside, I think our experience over here where we got to spend time together throughout the whole week, I think it will carry them a long way."
He added: "They got close, they had fun. They worked and we appreciate the whole experience. The experience was incredible. Everybody here associated with this game treated us like kings. It's a great ballgame and I would strongly recommend this game to any of the other clubs in the National Football League."
Although you would not have known it from the number of Patriots jerseys in the stands, the Rams were the 'home' team for the game, originally due to be the first of three appearances by the Rams at Wembley through to 2014.
However, the team - owned by Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke - pulled out of the next two visits in order to focus on stadium redevelopment back home. Instead, the Jacksonville Jaguars will become London's 'home' team for four seasons from next year.
Fisher's endorsement will be sweet music to the ears of NFL UK as it looks to take the next step in the International Series, now in its sixth year. In 2013, there will be two games at Wembley, one featuring the Jaguars as they take on San Francisco, and other matching the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL UK hopes to eventually prove the viability of a franchise based in London, but for now the challenge is to keep the momentum building and key to that is persuading NFL teams to keep coming. The Patriots may not need all that much persuasion in the future after racking up their second blow-out win three years, having beaten Tampa Bay 35-7 here in 2009.
"It was a fun day for us," Brady said. "It's great to come on a trip like this and put everything together. The guys will have some fun tonight.
"This is a great venue, a beautiful stadium and I know how historic it is. It's a great atmosphere for football. I hope the fans enjoyed the game. I know it got out of hand but that's how the Patriots enjoy it."