Patriots: 45 Rams: 7 - Week 8 Recap

Entering week 8, some questioned the identity of the 2012 Patriots, but those questions seemed to be answered in New England’s 45-7 win over the Rams in London on Sunday. The Patriots now reach the midway point of the season at 5-3 after a decisive 45-7 win over the Rams, in London. The Pats will take their time heading back to the States and enjoy the bye week before hosting the Bills and Colts at Gillette in Weeks 10 and 11.


Gronkowski Spikes Galore – Rob Gronkowski had easily his best performance of the season as he racked up 146 yards receiving on 8 catches with 2 touchdowns. After his first touchdown catch, Gronkowski went with what was clearly a premeditated dance imitating a member of the Queen’s Guard; one of the funnier celebrations to date. While Rob entered the game as “Questionable” on the depth chart, his ankle looked just fine, as he made up for the lack of tight-end sidekick, Aaron Hernandez.

Brady Sharp – After letting the game get away against the Jets last week, Tom made sure he was at his best in London on Sunday. From the first drive on, Brady kept the team moving down the field at an unstoppable pace, as the offense scored touchdowns on their first five drives. Tom’s chemistry with new weapon Brandon Lloyd was at its best today, as the two connected on a pair of well-developed touchdown passes.

Injury Concerns – While winning by a high margin is great, potential injuries can sometimes have more value to a team than the victory itself. In Sunday’s game starting right cornerback Kyle Arrington, slot cornerback Marquice Cole, and defensive lineman Ron Brace left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return. Most importantly, receiver Wes Welker limped off in the fourth quarter and had his left leg elevated on the bench as he was re-taped. No injury was announced, but Welker also did not return to the field. These will be important injuries to monitor during the upcoming bye week.

Ridley Leads Rushing Attack – Leading the rushing attack yet again, Stevan Ridley continued to impress on Sunday, racking up 127 yards on 15 carries while adding 1 touchdown. The Patriots rushing attack has been well balanced throughout the season, and that continued today with Shane Vareen adding 22 yards and a touchdown as well.  With the quick running style that New England has incorporated this season, it is difficult for opposing teams to game plan for a team that is known for their passing attack. Look for the Pats to utilize the running game just as much as they already have in the second half of the season.

Defense Shines – The Patriots defense had been the main source of criticism from fans this season, but they stood up to the challenge on Sunday. After surrendering a 50-yard touchdown pass in the first Rams drive of the game, it seemed like it was going to be the same old song and dance for the Pats defense. But little did everyone know that that would be the last score for St. Louis. First round draft picks Chandler Jones and D’onta Hightower continued to impress with hard tackles and creating pressure on Rams quarterback, Sam Bradford. Jones had his most athletic sack of the year, as he chased down Bradford for a big loss in the 3rd quarter. It was Jones’ 6th sack on the year, as he continues to be the key to the Patriots pass rush.

Top Note – In their past two matchups, the Patriots have outscored Jeff Fisher coached teams 104-7.

Up Next – The Patriots enter their bye week before hosting the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on November 11th at 1:00 PM.

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