Brady backs London games after Patriots rout Buccanneers
LONDON (Reuters) - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gave his backing to NFL games in London after leading his team to a 35-7 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
"I'm all for it. It was a fun experience for all of us," he told reporters after the game at Wembley Stadium which attracted a sell-out crowd of 84,254.
The Patriots left for England on Thursday to prepare for the game. For U.S. games they do not depart until Saturday.
"We all went out to dinner on Friday night which we don't get the chance to do very often, it was kind of a unique bonding experience," he said.
It took the Patriots just 2-1/2 minutes to take control of the game as safety Brandon Meriweather gave his team a lead they never looked likely to surrender, returning a wayward pass from Tampa quarterback Josh Johnson for a touchdown.
"Brandon stepped up and made some huge plays for us today," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Brady extended the lead to 21-0 with touchdown passes to wide receivers Sam Aiken and Wes Welker before Johnson connected with wideout Antonio Bryant just before halftime to narrow the deficit to 21-7 at the break.
Welker, who grabbed 10 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, praised the fans.
"It was definitely a cool experience to see the energy (of the fans) and what they bring to the game. Everybody was really into it and it was good to see," he said.
A 35-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end Ben Watson and a one-yard touchdown run from Laurence Maroney sealed the victory in the second half.
The win kept New England at the top of the AFC East with a 5-2 record while Tampa remained rooted to the bottom of the NFC South at 0-7.
The game was the third regular season contest played at London's Wembley stadium.
"It's a long haul. But the experience was good. Fortunately we have a week off next week with the bye week, so that helps the whole process," Belichick said.
"I think it would be hard to commute back and forth to London for the season. It would be hard, that's all. As far as the facilities and the game and the people and the city and all that, that was great."
Tampa's defeat completed a miserable day for owners the Glazer family whose other team, soccer's Manchester United, suffered a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in England's Premier League.
(Editing by John Mehaffey)
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