In the midst of nightmares on and off the field for the Los Angeles Rams, including a 49-21 drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints last week, head coach Jeff Fisher’s men will travel to New England to take on Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the 9-2 New England Patriots on Sunday, December 3 (10 A.M, TV:FOX, Radio: ESPN Radio 710AM/The Sound 100.3 FM).
With the distractions stemming from their embarrassing performance and off the field issues involving Rams great Eric Dickerson and Fisher, the Rams could not be in a worse spot heading into Sunday’s match against New England.
Despite all of the negative press the Rams have suffered on and off the field this past week, one glimmer of hope heading into Sunday is their No. 1. Jared Goff looked much more comfortable guiding the team at quarterback last week, even if it was just for the first half.
Goff completed 20 of 32 passes and threw for three touchdowns. With his noticeable improvement from one week to another, can the rookie build on that performance up in Foxboro? If the Rams have any chance at keeping up with the Patriots, the former Cal standout has to put up even more impressive numbers this week.
The normally reliable Rams defense was not just exposed, but were torched last week in New Orleans. Not only did Los Angeles give up a season high 49 points, but they gave up 555 total yards (including 209 on the ground). The unit as a whole has to put up a much more spirited competitive effort against a talented Patriots offense. The Rams secondary gave up four touchdowns last week against Drew Brees, and based on who is facing them this week, it is hard to see how that secondary won’t get lit up again.
The Patriots scratched and clawed their way to a 22-17 victory last week against the New York Jets at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford last week. The Patriots will be playing without the services of TE Rob Gronkowski, who had back surgery this past week and is likely to miss the rest of the season. Pats QB Tom Brady (knee) and Julian Edelman (foot), according to reports are also nursing injuries. Both have missed practice this week, but are expected to play Sunday.
Even though the Patriots are dealing with a rash of injuries to key players, the team is just more talented than the Rams offensively, defensively and on special teams. Los Angeles is at a major disadvantage and must play a perfect game on both sides of the football to have a chance Sunday.
Sources: Alden Gonzalez, ESPN, ESPN.com, Ken Duffy, masslive.com, CBS 4, Boston, Des Bieler, Washington Post
Martin Cruz is a writer for Rams Talk. You can find him on Twitter with the username @MCruz1988.