Pregame Notes: New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams
After suffering their first loss in more than a year at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, it doesn't figure to get any easier for the Patriots as they prepare to meet the St Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams have the 6th best Offense in the league, averaging 375.4 yards per game. The Patriots defense, which has lost both starting CBs Ty Law and Tyrone Poole, will be challenged by the offensive genius of Rams head coach Mike Martz. Martz's wizardry will likely include a focus on Law and Pool's young replacements, DB Asante Samuel and Randall Gay. Gay was burned last week by Palxico Burress for long gains repeatedly, but without the rookie, the Patriots have even less talent on the field.
The Patriots Offensive line is in a state of flux, after coming to the conclusion that the injury to OT, Tom Ashworth is significant enough to get him placed on IR, ending his season. While the needs of the line are significant, OL Brandin Gorin will be called upon for a second straight week to pick up the responsibilities of his fallen teammate.
The priorities of getting good, healthy bodies on the field was given to the defense eventhough the offense could use an extra lineman. CB, Earthwind Moreland, who was cut from the team in training camp and resigned recently was activted from the practice squad. Moreleand, who has seen playing time with some other NFL teams will be called upon to try to help slow down the Ram attack.
Notes of Interest:
- 1st and 10 - The Rams are third in the NFC (sixth in the NFL) in first downs made with 145. RB Marshall Faulk is third in the NFC (ninth in the NFL) in first downs with 38.
- Ball Hogs - The Rams are ranked second in the NFC (sixth in the NFL) in time possession (31:37). Four out of six games this season, the Rams have controlled the ball for more than 32 minutes (33:50 vs. Arizona, 33:37 vs. New Orleans, 34:22 at San Francisco, 32:08 vs. Tampa Bay).
- Patriots linebacker Roman Phifer was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL draft by the Rams and played in both Los Angeles (1991-95) and St. Louis (1996-98).
- Rams linebacker Trev Faulk was a member of the same Louisiana State squad as Patriots quarterback Rohan Davey, cornerback Randall Gay, defensive end Marquise Hill and defensive lineman Jarvis Green. Faulk is also a cousin of Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, who is also an alumnus of LSU.
- Rams tackle Grant Williams played for the Patriots from 2000-01, starting 12 of 29 games over that span.
- Rams wide receiver Dane Looker was acquired by the Patriots via trade in 2000, and was inactive for 10 games with the team.
- Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham was originally signed by the Rams as a rookie free agent prior to the 1999 season.
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OUT: WR, Deion Branch, T, Tom Ashworth, Ty Law
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7th-rounder, Givens has caught up fast
feeling? No. Pats insist defense will remain active, effective.
isn't on Rams' minds
So the fact that they meet New England for the first time since Super
Bowl XXXVI doesn't have much relevance for the Steve Jacksons, Shaun McDonalds,
Anthony Hargroves and Pisa Tinoisamoas of the roster.
will be a family reunion for Trev and Kevin Faulk
"Unfortunately, early in September his mom passed away," Trev
said. "So I went back home, and spent that time with him there."
Rams meet for first time since 2002 Super Bowl
In their heyday as the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams were the oddsmakers' two-touchdown favorite in the 2002 Super Bowl. They were one of the biggest favorites to fall, losing 20-17 on Adam Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal as time expired.
"I still remember just turning around and watching that ball sail
through the uprights and all of that confetti falling in the wrong color,"
defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson said. "That's the memory I'll think
Pats Throw Out the Past
None of them is too concerned about what happened in the past, the only
thing that matters now is winning Sundays showdown against New England
at the Edward Jones Dome.
try to avoid another collapse
OK, who are we kidding? The images of Super Bowl XXXVI are seared into your memory - Ty Law returning an interception 47 yards for a touchdown; David Patten elevating in the end zone for a TD catch just before halftime; and Adam Vinatieri splitting the uprights at the final gun.
Since the winners get to write history, what often gets overlooked from
that 20-17 victory is the fourth quarter, when the Patriots nearly staged
the greatest choke job in Super Bowl history by blowing a 17-3 lead.
don't want payback a win is enough
Favored by two touchdowns to win their second championship in three seasons
and establish themselves as an NFL dynasty, the shock of losing 20-17
on a last-second field goal to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI can still
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