Game Balls & Goats: Patriots-Rams

The New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 23-16 in Foxboro today after a back and forth contest. Who did well enough to earn a game ball? We hand them out.


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.

Dishonorable Mentions:


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