1) Kevin Faulk - the Patriots running back has another 100 yards in combined yardage on the day. When the Patriots needed a player to step up to fill in for injuries, Faulk was there. His touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. Faulk finished with 13 carries for 60 yards and 4 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown.
2) Wes Welker - Welker's play can be epitomized by Randy Moss' longest reception on the day a 30 yard catch and run. Moss caught the ball over the middle then went to make a move crossing into the middle of the field. Welker went flying in trying to take out the defender, his block sprung Moss for an additional 10-plus yards. Welker
3) Patriots Pass Rush -Adalius Thomas, Richard Seymour and crew put pressure on Marc Bulger all day. The group came up with 4 sacks for -33 yards. Seymour was particularly active knocking Bulger down when he passed, causing the Rams QB to hurry throws over the course of the day.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Richardson - Came into the lineup for an injured Deltha O'Neal and played fairly well. His touchdown saving tackle on a Dante Hall interception was negated due to a Rams holding penalty. Richardson picked up where he left off in his last serious during the 2007 preseason.
Randy Moss - Another 100 yard game for Moss and his 800 catches in his career. Although he had one drop, his presence opened up the Rams defense allowing the Patriots to complete passes underneath.
1) Big Play Defense - again the Patriots were burned by deep passes in this matchup. Ellis Hobbs gave up two big plays by himself, one for a 69-yard touchdown, and another on a turnaround 40-plus yard reception. Donnie Avery managed 163 yards and a touchdown with over 100 of those yards in big plays.
2) The Fans - According to our insiders who were there, the crowd was flat today. To quote one insider, when you can hear the cheerleaders in a close game that's never a good thing when you're on defense.
3) Short yardage blocking - failure to make a first down on short yardage situations isn't a good sign, especially against a defense like St. Louis which has had it's share of struggles. The failure to make 1 yard on a fourth and one in the third period was one more problem the team needs to fix.
1. Kewin Faulk. Everyone and their mothers cousin knew the Patriots were going to rely on Kevin Faulk. And he did not disappoint including the scoring the winning TD.
2. Moss/Welker. They both had stellar games and yes Moss dropped one. He is human. Welker helped in on returns and did well there as usual. All around good game for these two.
3. Adalius Thomas. Had a couple of sacks and a vert high motor yesterday. Lots of pressure from him.
BB. Why? He did a patchwork job in the secondary especially with the game on the line and the Ram's using 4 receivers.
O'Neill because he came up with a interception to seal the game despite leaving earlier with an injury.
1. Sanders. Wasn't him that got turned aroun don that 69 TD pass? And then ran into his own man?
2. Special teams: just horrible and penalties to the Ram negated big returns.
3. Cassel. I'm being light on him, he played well managing most of the day...2 pics not cool and he coudl have ran for a first down and slid when he could have taken 3 more steps and gotten the first down instead of having a third and two. He managed the game well otherwise.
- Faulk and the RB's. Faulk carried the load, but Evans cleared the way and BJGE pitched in as well.
- Moss, Welker. Duh.
- Cassel - he's starting to show why they kept him around. If he keeps improving at an accelerating rate like this we could be in fine shape for the playoff run. Well ... maybe.
- Hon: O'Neal for the clinching INT (I hope Asante was taking notes) and BB/Pees for patching together a secondary when players were dropping like flies, the front 7 - those sacks made the difference. Gosti for making all his kicks again. Oh, and the Dolphins for beating the Bills.
- The secondary. I expected a problem with Rodney gone, but they gave up too many big plays again. That said, I'm not into the Hobbs-bashing. He plays bigger than his size, gives 200% and makes a lot more good plays than bad.
- McDaniels. Yeah, things are more balanced now, but all teams have to do is focus on Welker and Moss and there goes the passing attack (sounds like, oh I don't know, the last SuperBowl). Spread the damn ball around.
Balls: 1. Thomas and Seymore. Their studs. 2. Cassel for not really making many mistakes other than his interseptions. Thats his downfield vision and it seems to be getting better. 3. Kevin Faulk. What really can you say. The guy can do it all. Honorable Mention. The Rams for giving the Pats a game. They played well and Pittman can run. Goats: 1. Damn Micky D. Bless me but the guy sucks. He doesnt want to play call like that in INDY. They will crush the Pats. 2. Injury's. I hate to see anyone go down from either team. 3. Cassel. Get rid of the ball aready. No ball, No sacks, Its simple as that. Dishonorable Mention. Dropped passes. I cant get real pissed about those. Welker and Moss rarely drop anything.