Sunday, October 28, 2012
Wrap-up: Patriots 45, Rams 7
By Mike Sando
Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' performance during a 45-7 Week 8 defeat to the New England Patriots in London:
What it means: The Rams fell to 3-5 with their third consecutive defeat. Their shortcomings, some compounded by injuries, have caught up to them against superior opponents. The bye week comes at a good time for St. Louis. The team should welcome back its top receiver, Danny Amendola. Other injured players, including left tackle Rodger Saffold and center Scott Wells, should also be closer to returning.
What I liked: The Rams were competitive early in the game. Chris Givens' 50-yard touchdown reception marked the fifth consecutive game Givens has had a reception of at least 50 yards. That broke Willie Gault's NFL rookie record, set in 1983. Rookie running backs Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead had runs covering 20 and 19 yards, respectively. The Rams limited Wes Welker to six receptions for 48 yards.
What I didn't like: Playing the game in London was a loss for the Rams. It took away their best chance for a victory.
The Rams had trouble matching up with the Patriots' offense. This game continued a recent trend of diminished pass defense for St. Louis. The team had forced eight interceptions over the first four games. Tom Brady had his way against the Rams on this day, just as Aaron Rodgers had done a week earlier.
The Rams also suffered from some breakdowns an overmatched team cannot afford, including a mishandled snap on a field goal try in the first half. Quarterback Sam Bradford took a hit and left the game briefly. Givens also left the game with a toe injury. The Rams allowed Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd to catch two scoring passes apiece.
What's next: The Rams visit the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10, following a bye.