Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was pleased with the performance. "We really emphasized staying away from the personal fouls and we did that. You always want to play penalty free," Belichick said. That was outstanding really. I cant remember how many of those we had but we havent had many."
The answer is none.
New England turned in their first error-free performance in the 731-game history of the franchise when they went without a single penalty in Sunday's win over the Rams. The Seattle Seahawks were the last team to accomplish the feat on Dec. 23, 2007 against the Ravens. The Patriots penalty-free game was the 50th such performance by an NFL team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
St. Louis Rams head coach Jim Haslett was disappointed in his team for the number of penalties it took against New England, especially on special teams, but he acknowledged surprise that the Patriots had just one penalty called on them, which was declined.
"I thought there should have been some called on the other side. The facemask on Marc (Bulger) was a penalty, and hitting Marc after he threw it was a penalty. But again they were subjective judgmental calls. For me to put myself in position to make the calls, your eyes and my eyes may see two different things. They were all subjective, and that is kind of how that works."
As for his team's penalties, Haslett said, "The thing that bothered me more than anything was the special teams calls. We haven't had any all year, and then we had the four or five in the game because it kept putting us in a bad position on offense. I was not mad at the refs, I was mad at our football team for getting that many penalties. We try to go into a game and come out with no special teams penalties, and we had a year-full in one game (Sunday)."
Said guard Richie Incognito, when asked about the Patriots not being penalized, "I have never, ever, ever played a perfect team before. That's all I'm going to say on that one."
The Rams have since sent a tape to the NFL outlining a number of plays that New England should have been flagged for but wasn't. "I thought there should have been some calls on the other side," Haslett told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Haslett claimed there were three plays the Patriots should have been flagged for, but weren't.
It's up to the league to decide what to do about the tapes now. When asked if the results matter, Haslett confirmed they did, but not much after the game is over.
"It doesn't help. It just lets them know you know," Haslett said.
Coach Jim Haslett believes RB Steven Jackson will be able to play this week after missing Sunday's game against New England because of a quadriceps injury.
Said Haslett, "He looked good (Monday), was questionable (Sunday), and we thought it was best for him to sit out and get him ready for this game."
--Rookie DE Chris Long had two sacks against the Patriots and now has four this season. Asked about Long's progress, Haslett said, "I just think he has confidence in what he's doing. Obviously, a better understanding of the defense helps, and he's playing fast. I thought he played well (Sunday). He'll get better, too. He had the two sacks. The week before he even played better. He had five quarterback hits but didn't have a sack. You can see it, he's got confidence in what he's doing. I can't wait to get him and (DE) Leonard (Little) on the field at the same time for a couple games in a row."
--RB Steven Jackson is expected to play Sunday when the Rams host the Cardinals. Jackson missed Sunday's game against the Patriots because of a quadriceps injury.
--DE Leonard Little suffered a strained hamstring against New England and is hopeful of playing against Arizona. Coach Jim Haslett said Little was "upbeat" Monday and had a good workout.
--DT Adam Carriker will still be considered questionable because of an ankle injury that caused him to miss Sunday's game against New England. Carriker didn't make the trip with the team.
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