– 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.
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