LONDON (AP) — The St. Louis Rams are familiar with fans cheering for the opposition, even at their home games.
They're likely to get an even bigger dose of that Sunday when they go up against the New England Patriots at Wembley in the annual NFL game in London.
The Rams are technically the home team, but the Patriots — and especially Tom Brady — have a much bigger international following and may get more fan support.
The Rams (3-4) already had a taste of that in the home loss to Green Bay on Sunday, when thousands of raucous cheeseheads made themselves heard at the Edward Jones Dome.
"We had a lot of Green Bay Packer fans in our stadium last weekend," coach Jeff Fisher said. "So they travel very well as well. Didn't bother us, didn't have an impact on the outcome of the game. We're excited to be here."
The Rams held their first full practice in London on Wednesday, at the training grounds of Premier League soccer club Arsenal north of the capital. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is also the majority shareholder of Arsenal, and his interests in the British market are part of the reason why the organization was willing to give up a home game in St. Louis to travel overseas.
The Rams were originally set to play a game in London for three straight years — creating speculation that Kroenke may eventually consider moving the team overseas permanently — but dropped plans to return in 2013 and 2014.
That means quarterback Sam Bradford, for one, is keen on making the most of this one opportunity to build an international fan base for the organization.
"It's a big stage, a big opportunity," Bradford said. "Obviously, playing over here, it's going to be broadcast all over the world."
But Bradford also realizes that his team isn't the main attraction for an international audience.
"We're playing the Patriots, one of most well-known, if not the most well-known teams in the league," he said. "They've been one of the best for quite a while now."
The Patriots have already played in one of the five previous regular-season games in London, beating Tampa Bay at Wembley in 2009. That added to the popularity of a team that already had a solid European fan base because of the star power of Brady and three recent Super Bowl titles.