Patriots vs. Rams: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
The New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams are this year's participants in the league's "International Series," with the Rams technically acting as the home team. This hurts in the long run, with the team losing one game that would be played in the Edward Jones Dome.
However, this should be a great game that entertains the fans at Wembley Stadium as well as those watching at home.
Here is everything you need to know about this highly anticipated contest.
When: October 28 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Radio: SiriusXM Radio
Spread: Patriots (-7) via Vegas Insider
If the game were in St. Louis, the Patriots would likely have a difficult time. However, the neutral field takes away that possible advantage.
New England already has a positive experience in this stadium, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in 2009. In fact, in five years of NFL games in London, it is the only game decided by more than one score.
The Rams have lost six-straight games away from home and 12 of the last 13. While some have been close, do not count on that in this game.
Over/Under: 47 via Vegas Insider
The Patriots have the No. 1 scoring offense in the league at 31 points per game. Unfortunately, the defense has not prevented an opponent from scoring 20 points since Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans.
This team still has some serious issues in the secondary that are unlikely to be fixed from last week.
Regardless of the outcome, this will likely become a high-scoring affair.
Injury Report (via ESPN)
WR Brandon Lloyd (Knee) Quest.
RB Brandon Bolden (Knee) Quest.
TE Aaron Hernandez (Ankle) Quest.
TE Rob Gronkowski (Hip) Quest.
LB Jerod Mayo (Elbow) Quest.
WR Wes Welker (Ankle) Quest.
WR Julian Edelman (Hand) Quest.
S Patrick Chung (Shoulder) Quest.
OT Wayne Hunter (Back) Quest.
WR Danny Amendola (Shoulder) Quest.
WR Brandon Gibson (Illness) Prob.
LB Mario Haggan (Thigh) Prob.
Fantasy Big Plays
Patriots: Rob Gronkowski, TE
Tom Brady will certainly have a good game, but it might be the time of year for Gronkowski to break out of his shell.
The talented tight end pleased fantasy owners around the country with his first big performance of the season last week. He finished with 78 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the New York Jets.
Aaron Hernandez returning to the lineup only helps Gronkowski, as defenses can no longer give extra attention to the big man in the middle. Brady should continue to look his way and he should find the end zone on Sunday.
Projected Stats: 7 receptions, 101 yards, 1 TD
Rams: Chris Givens, WR
New England has been solid against the run this year, only allowing 86 yards per game. This is not good for either Steven Jackson or Daryl Richardson.
Through the air, however, the Patriots have allowed 16 touchdowns, tied for the most in the NFL.
Brandon Gibson has been the most targeted receiver since Danny Amendola was injured, but Givens is the big-play threat. He has the ability to get past this secondary for a long touchdown and possibly more.
Starting him would be a risk, but it also has a lot of upside.
Projected Stats: 4 receptions, 88 yards, 1 TD
Patriots Key to Victory: Defend the Pass
When Mark Sanchez throws for 328 yards against a defense, you know there is a problem.
The Patriots are 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. This has been an issue for a few years now and nothing has been fixed.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has good days and bad, but New England needs to ensure this is not one of his better days. Otherwise, it could be a long day for last year's AFC Champions.
Rams Key to Victory: Force Turnovers
Although the offense is usually careful with the football, the Rams have a neutral turnover differential due to the team's inability to get interceptions or fumbles.
In fact, the Rams do not have a takeaway since a Week 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals. They do not have any interceptions since Week 4.
Tom Brady does not make many mistakes. Then again, he is not perfect either. If the Rams can force some turnovers in key spots, they will have a chance at pulling off the upset.
The Patriots are 0-2 against the NFC West this season, already losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals and on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. This makes three straight loses to the NFC after losing in the Super Bowl last year.
St. Louis might be able to take advantage of their unfamiliarity to continue the streak.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Rams 21
While the Rams have looked good at times this year, they are on a two-game losing streak and seem to be headed in the wrong direction. The Patriots simply have too much talent for this game to get away from them.
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