– Well, after a game like that where you lose 45-7, there simply isn’t much to say. The Rams, quite simply, were beaten in every phase of the game as the Patriots rolled to a 45-7 win.
– It was the first time under Jeff Fisher that the Rams weren’t really even competitive in a game. After a hot start and a quick 7-0 lead, it was all Patriots, all the time.
– On defense, the Rams couldn’t get to New England QB Tom Brady at all. There was no pressure. The run defense took a step back and the Rams couldn’t get off the field on third down. They were hurt by some iffy pass interference penalties but that’s a bit beside the point considering the breakdowns across the whole defense. As MLB James Laurinaitis said, they had too many miscommunications and poor reads.
– On offense, it was a lack of execution but more than that it was TOO.MANY.PENALTIES. It’s been an issue all year and it continues to be one. In fact, after a nearly flawless first drive, the Rams offense had at least one penalty on each of their next five possessions with seven penalties in total. That’s a good way to keep from putting points on the board.
– Even the special teams made a mistake as long snapper Jake McQuaide misfired on a snap that P Johnny Hekker couldn’t handle. He was dropped for a 9-yard loss and instead of a field goal and a 21-10 deficit, it quickly became 28-7.
– More on the game in a minute, though not much more.
– On the injury front, it appears the Rams have one serious injury, according to coach Jeff Fisher. He said S Matt Daniels has a likely significant ACL injury that will probably end his season. That will be examined further on return to St. Louis but it doesn’t look good.
– T Barry Richardson (head), WR Chris Givens (toe) and Joe Barksdale were also shaken up. They all returned to the game, though and should be fine coming out of the bye.
– Speaking of the bye, here’s a small silver lining: not only can those guys heal up but it looks good for possible returns for LT Rodger Saffold and WR Danny Amendola after the off week as well.
– Back to the game, not much positive to say but a tip of the cap for the rookie WR from Wake Forest, Mr. Givens. He made another huge play on a 50-yard TD grab to start the game. In the process, he set the rookie record for consecutive weeks with a 50-plus yard catch. He’s at five now and counting.
– Rodney McLeod did a nice job in punt coverage, as per usual. He was all over the place though he had a penalty as well.
– It was hard to see the penalty calls from our pressbox vantage point on CB Bradley Fletcher but I’m sure Rams fans wouldn’t have minded a game called that tightly in the receivers’ favor back in a certain game against these Patriots in 2001.
– Two weeks, two Hall of Fame QBs: Tom Brady was outstanding.
– Say what you want about TE Rob Gronkowski and maybe his off field shenanigans but the guy has a lot of fun playing football and he’s really good at it. He’s a nightmare for opponents.
– Rams S Quintin Mikell put blame on himself for having “bad eyes” against Gronkowski and the Patriots passing attack. In other words, he didn’t hit hit keys and make the right reads. That left him giving up some big plays. In fact, the Rams safeties and LBs had a very rough week in that regard.
– It’s difficult to get a good pass rush on Brady because he’s so good at spotting blitzes and throwing to the vacated spot but to have no sacks and no quarterback hits (in unofficial pressbox stats), well, I don’t think you have much of a chance against him if those are goose eggs.
– Some nice, positive plays in garbage time for RB Isaiah Pead and WR Brian Quick. Quick, in particular, needed one after a rough pair of moments earlier in the game. He’s still got a ways to go to be the player the Rams coaching staff thinks he can be.
– Some more nice flashes for RB Daryl Richardson though he still has work to do in pass protection.
– All told, the game was a dud for the Rams and to a man, they all acknowledged that. They now have a bye to lick the wounds further and see how they bounce back. Fisher is eager to see his team’s response.
– But I know this: there’s not much time to sit around sulking on this one. While they do have a bye, they have a trip to San Francisco waiting for them in two weeks. It never gets any easier around the NFL and the Rams will be tested further in the next two weeks than they have at any point this season.
– Thanks for reading and following all week with our coverage from London. Talk to you all when we get back stateside Monday or Tuesday.
Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »
– Rams drive ends from their 37 as Bradford is sacked again for a loss of 8 by Ninkovich.
– Patriots take over at their 45.
– Another drive, another TD for Pats. Brady to Gronkowski for 14 yards and a score. It’s 45-7 with 11:20 to go.
– Rams get it at their 27.
– After moving into NE territory on strength of RIchardson’s legs, Bradford was intercepted by CB Alfonzo Dennard. Pats take over at their 18.
– Ryan Mallett in at QB for Pats.
– Defense gets a stop.
– Kellen Clemens in for Bradford at QB.
– Rams take over at their 10.
– Nice run by RB Isaiah Pead gains 19.
– Quick goes up and makes a nice catch for a gain of 38 to New England’s 24.
– Another nice gain by Pead for a gain of 8.
– Clemens intercepted by Tavon Wilson.
– That will do it for this one.
– Patriots win it 45-7. Very disappointing showing for the Rams in all phases. They fall to 3-5 heading into the bye week.
– Pats start at the 20.
– Moving it with ease, still as two plays net 47 yards.
– Four plays later, Brady hits Lloyd for another score, this time from 9 yards out. Pats lead 35-7.
– Rams defense being shredded by Brady and Co.
– Rams start first drive of second half from their 20.
– Three and out after another costly penalty on second down when Bradford crossed line of scrimmage before throwing.
– New England starts again at its 34.
– It’s the Stevan Ridley show on this drive: three runs for 60 yards. First down at Rams 6.
– Patriots finally do something other than score a TD, settle for a Stephen Gostkowski 26-yard field goal. Pats lead 38-7 with 6:55 to go in the third.
– Rams get a first down by penalty but penalties of their own and a third down sack ended any hopes of a drive. New England has it at its 45.
– The Rams offense hasn’t gone an entire possession without a penalty since the opening drive.
– Defense gets a three and out. First punt of the day for New England comes with 2:36 to go in the third quarter.
– It’s a touchback. Rams take over at their 20.
– Rams moving with some nice grabs from Gibson.
– Rams have it third and 6 at the Patriots 37 at the end of three quarters.
– The Rams held their ground twice before Shane Vereen pounded it in from 1 yard out. New England leads 14-7 with 14:12 to go in the half.
– Rams start their third possession at their 20.
– After an 8-yard completion to Richardson and a third down conversion on third and 2 to Kendricks for 6, the Rams went nowhere again.
– On third-and-15, a short completion to Steve Smith turned into a disaster as he fumbled and LB Rob Ninkovich recovered at the Rams’ 25.
– A review of the play called it incomplete. Rams to punt. Dodge a bullet there.
– Patriots get it back at their 21.
– Gronkowski and Brady continued their dominance, hooking up for gains of 17 and 32 to the Rams’ 9.
– On third and goal at the 7, Brady hit Gronkowski again for a touchdown. It’s 21-7 Patriots. Rams defense getting no pressure on Brady and he and Gronkowski are picking them apart.
– Rams start again at their 29.
– On second down, Bradford hit Givens for 9 and followed with an 8-yard strike to Gibson for a first down at the 38.
– After another first down got to New England’s 41, a holding penalty pushed the Rams back 10 yards.
– On first and 20 at the Rams’ 49, Bradford found Richardson for 3 yards but was hit on the play and remained down.
– Looks like he’ll be OK. Rams call timeout, Bradford won’t even miss a snap.
– Bradford finds Kendricks at Patriots 46.
– It’s third and 15 there.
– Bradford to Kendricks for 10 more sets up fourth and 5 at New England’s 36.
– Zuerlein on to try a 53-yard field goal.
– A high snap left Hekker unable to get the snap down and he was dropped for a 9-yard loss.
– New England took over at its 44 and quickly got 15 on a completion to Woodhead.
– On third and 4 at the Rams 35, Fletcher was flagged for pass interference again, this time for 15 yards and another first down at the 20.
– Brady got a first down on third and 1 with a 3-yard sneak.
– Yet another pass interference on Fletcher gave the Pats another third down conversion. First and goal at the 1 with 14 seconds to go.
– Ridley scores. It’s 28-7 and getting out of hand here at Wembley as we head to the half.
– The Patriots won the toss and elected to defer. The Rams started from their 20.
– After an offsides penalty, the Rams picked up 14 as Bradford dropped on off to RB Steven Jackson.
– Bradford hit Pettis for 5 and Jackson picked up 6 on two carries for a first down at the 50.
– There, Bradford threw a perfect play action strike to WR Chris Givens for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.
– Tremendous start for the Rams.
– Givens’ catch was his fifth straight game with a 50-plus yard grab, a new NFL rookie record, passing Willie Gault.
– New England started at its 22 and got a first down on a pass interference for a 10-yard gain and a first at the 40.
– Three plays later, they converted again as Brady floated one to RB Danny Woodhead for a gain of 24 to the Rams’ 28.
– Three plays after that, Brady hit Brandon Lloyd for a 19-yard touchdown.
– The extra point ties it at 7 with 7:50 to go in the first. Lots of fireworks here early.
– Rams start again from their 17.
– Bradford hits Matthew Mulligan for 13 to the 30 and a first down.
– A 7-yard run by Jackson and 5 for Richardson picked up another first down.
– But the Rams drive died as Bradford was flagged for grounding on third and 6.
– New England starts again at its 17.
– Brady went back to work with two 25-yard completions to TE Rob Gronkowski.
– The Patriots have second and goal at the Rams 2 in a 7-7 game at the end of the first half.
– Greetings from Wembley Stadium where the Rams and the Patriots are warming up for today’s kickoff, which takes place at 5:00 p.m. London time and noon back in St. Louis.
– It’s a chilly, overcast day here in London or, pretty much, par for the course for October in London. But it’s expected that the rain will stay away.
– Not that anyone cares but the pressbox setup here is somewhat strange. The pressbox isn’t just open air, it’s open, period. It’s a section unto itself but it’s right next to general fan population and is really just regular seats with a table attached to the top.
– The Rams will be wearing the all blues here as has been their normal custom during home games. As hard as it is to remember at times, this is a home game for the Rams. The stadium is decked out in Rams logos as a reminder.
– The Rams inactives for today: DE Eugene Sims, QB Austin Davis, WR Danny Amendola, T Rodger Saffold, T Wayne Hunter, LB Mario Haggan and DT Matt Conrath.
– For the Patriots: TE Aaron Hernandez, G Logan Mankins, S Patrick Chung, S Steve Gregory, RB Brandon Bolden, LB Tracy White and DL Trevor Scott.
– For the Rams, Joe Barksdale will again start at LT in place of Hunter via Saffold.
– Keep an eye on WR Brian Quick today, he could have an expanded role.
– All four Rams RBs will be available so it’s possible Terrance Ganaway could get some chances.
– The Patriots have some major shuffling to do in the secondary without both starting safeties.
– New England is wearing white jerseys with blue pants.
– Stay tuned for updated throughout the game.
Posted in From the Sidelines | No Comments »