Die-hard Patriots fans were given a taste of grim reality on Thursday Night Football this week while the LA Rams were showing off their stuff and exacting some measure of revenge for the humiliating loss the team suffered in Super Bowl LIII. It was that game that led to the Rams becoming the first team in the 55 years of the Super Bowl not to score at least one touchdown as they lost 13-3. The tables were flipped in the NFL last night, and they won 24-3.
The Rams Dominate The Pats
Last night, Patriots fans had to accept the cold hard facts that the Patriots domination of the NFL for so many years has finally played out. This time around it was New England that never managed to cross the goal line; never scored a touchdown. It’s hard to imagine what was going through head coach Bill Belichick’s mind.
Cam Newton is a good quarterback. He was brilliant at times while playing for the Carolina Panthers and was fun to watch. But, he looks out of place in a Patriots uniform and he is no longer fun to watch. Before Belichick pulled him from the game in LA last night, Newton had thrown 16 passes and completed nine of those for 116 yards and one pick – not too good for an NFL quarterback. Newton was finally pulled late in the game and his time with the Pats could be coming to an end.
The Patriots are not going to the playoffs this year, but the way they are going, the team just might get lucky in the upcoming NFL Draft, as there won’t be too many teams ahead of them. If they are going to keep Newton, at least draft or trade for some decent receivers to give him a chance at success.
Goff Gets It Done
While the Rams rolled over the Patriots and the game was not in doubt after the first few minutes had gone by, Jared Goff’s numbers did not look so great, either. He only passed for 137 yards all night, completing 16 of 25 passes. One touchdown passing, one rushing and one interception wouldn’t have been enough against almost any other viable opponent.
The offensive hero for the evening was the Rams’ Cam Akers, who rushed for 171 yards on 29 attempts and looked great all night. Sean McVay has depended on the running game for much of his success this year, utilizing two veterans at the position. Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcom Brown carried the load for most of the season, but it was the rookie Akers who dominated on Thursday night.
It was also the Rams’ defense that shined on Thursday Night Football this week. The dynamic duo the Rams have at the linebacker position is perhaps the best in the league. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers are as good as they come.
The Rams defense scored six sacks and 10 quarterback hits as it continued to put pressure on the Pats’ offense. After the game Aaron Donald said in an interview, “Every single week, it’s somebody new making big plays, making game-changing plays. That’s what it’s about. It’s not one or two guys. It’s all 11.”
On the other side of the ball, Belichick has not been able to rely on a single player to deliver consistently good performances game after game all season long. That is an unusual situation for the Patriots to find themselves in.
Rams Looking At The Playoffs
The 9-4 Rams move a half-game ahead of the 8-4 Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, while the New Orleans Saints still lead the NFC with a record of 10-2, the last three victories coming with quarterback Drew Brees on the sidelines with cracked ribs and Taysom Hill filling in handsomely for the future Hall of Famer.
It is doubtful that Brees will play this weekend against the hapless Philadelphia Eagles, but you can bet that he is getting pumped up for the playoffs.