New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Rams
Live on Sky Sports NFL
There was discuss that the six-time Super Bowl champs have been within the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes as San Francisco notched 33 factors to a pair of Patriots discipline objectives in Week 7.
Tom Brady’s alternative, Cam Newton on a cut price contract, had seen his profession second act impeded by Covid-19. The defence as a complete was equally waylaid earlier than the season began, as linebacker Donta Hightower and security Patrick Chung, two mainstays of their rearguard, opted-out of the season because of the pandemic.
Their absences confirmed up on the sphere with the defence rating among the many weakest within the league via the opening months.
And the playmakers weren’t there on offence to make up for it. Newton returned however had little or no to move to, which means the Pats needed to attempt to outsmart defences who knew they may solely run.
But, as we have come to count on, Bill Belichick has acquired his group hitting kind as December soccer kicks off.
Belichick stated “there’s some carryover offensively from the Rams” from SB53, however their protection and particular groups have modified fairly considerably with new coordinators.
Said LA having Cooper Kupp on this game “makes a big difference.” Kupp did not play within the Super Bowl.
? Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 7, 2020
They’ve been in with an opportunity on the loss of life to win towards each Buffalo and Houston of their final two losses, and have gained the opposite 4 video games because the Niners debacle.
Rookie Damien Harris leads the group in speeding regardless of enjoying simply 9 video games, whereas Cam Newton has posted 11 speeding TDs regardless of the Covid absence. He posted the most recent pair of scores in a 45-0 demolition of the LA Chargers final week.
It makes up for his passing to an extent. He has solely 5 TDs towards 9 interceptions and posted simply 69 yards final week in a romping win. Gunner Olszewski additionally broke off two particular groups touchdowns in that game, exhibiting how the Pats have to get scores anyplace they can.
Goff key for Rams
The Rams are prime of the NFC West because of the slipping Seahawks and a few cautious administration of their quarterback, Jared Goff, by coach Sean McVay.
Two weeks in the past, the plan fell aside as LA have been taken down by a Niners group a lot diminished because it smashed into the Patriots in Week 7.
Two interceptions and a misplaced fumble allowed their hurting division rivals take a 23-20 win as +5 factors street underdogs beginning Nick Mullens at QB and lacking a swathe of starters.
It was an aberration that noticed the top coach admit to doubts concerning the 26-year-old signal-caller.
Jared Goff has turned the ball over 10 occasions in his final 4 video games. That’s sufficient for Rams coach Sean McVay to say, “Our quarterback has got to take better care of the football.”
? The Athletic L.A. (@TheAthleticLA) December 1, 2020
They acquired again on observe with one other division match-up final week towards Arizona to rise to 8-4. Aaron Donald continues to steer their defence and destroy opposing strains, whereas rookie Cam Akers is rising because the lead again after Darrell Henderson dominated early-season carries.
But the Patriots have proven earlier than – notably in Super Bowl LIII – that they can get after Goff. Bill Belichick will relish the chance to tackle this offence once more.
Usually groups on a Thursday evening need to take care of journey to make the midweek match-up, however the Pats stayed in LA this week after they trashed the Chargers, so that ought to assist their preparation for what is a large game.
They’ll in all probability have to win all their remaining video games to make the postseason, although the truth that they’re nonetheless enjoying significant video games in Week 14 is an achievement given how their season was going.
The defence has a lot improved in latest weeks. You’d nonetheless have to carry doubts concerning the offence as they merely can’t move the ball, however I’d facet with Patriots on the handicap getting 5.5 or higher at 10/11 on the premise that Belichick has proven earlier than he can outsmart McVay and get to his streaky QB
All 4 of the Patriots’ most up-to-date video games have gone below, and the Rams this season have been 4-8 on totals, together with 0-5 at dwelling. These groups are actually about grinding outcomes, so I’d have a look at below once more on the road at 44.5.
That makes a scoring curiosity troublesome to choose, however Cam Newton’s speeding report this season speaks for itself. He’s proven he is nonetheless acquired the management skills even when his arm is not what it as soon as was, and nowhere extra has this been evident than in his willingness to take contact in efforts to attain.