New England & Rams connections

The Patriots have traveled to unfamiliar territory to take on an unfamiliar opponent in Week 8: the St. Louis Rams.

The two have a distant history that includes a matchup in Super Bowl XXVI, but just one player, Tom Brady, remains from that thrilling contest.

The clubs haven't met in the regular season since 2008, when Matt Cassel led the Patriots to a 23-16 victory at Gillette Stadium, but each franchise has undergone its share of turnover since that time.

Though the two franchises are largely unfamiliar with each other, there are a few connections between the Rams and the Patriots/New England area.

Area scout Sean Gustus

Gustus, a former college quarterback at the University of Richmond, serves as an area scout for the Rams. He has previous NFL stints that include two seasons (2002-2003) with the Patriots as a member of their personnel department.

Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar

Dunbar joined the Rams this offseason after four years in New Orleans with the Saints. He originally signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent after a standout career at Boston College, during which he was named a second-team All-ACC player in 2007.

Tight end Matthew Mulligan

Added this past March in free agency, Mulligan is a native of Bangor, Maine, and attended the University of Maine. He was a member of the Jets in 2011, spending the majority of the season on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster in December.