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BOSTON (CBS) – The 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ-TV, and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 sports teams make their predictions for the Patriots match-up with the St. Louis Rams in London.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
I think this game is going to be a little tighter than what people expect.
You have an NFC opponent you really don’t know anything about. When you look at the problems with the Patriots’ secondary, and the amount of yards they’ve given up, they will struggle against former number-one overall pick Sam Bradford. He likes to spread the ball out; so it’s a good thing Danny Amendola won’t be out there for St. Louis, making life difficult for the Patriots defense.
Plus, Belichick has talked all week about how well-coached the Rams are with Jeff Fischer in charge.
Everyone knows this isn’t an easy trip overseas. The Patriots have done it before back in 2009 against the Buccaneers, so they have 14 guys that have played in London before. I look for them to approach this as a business trip; just get over there and win the game.
I call this a “get through” game. I don’t care how they win it, just win it somehow and get to the bye week.
Patriots 31, Rams 20
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
This one is all about survive and advance. Go to London and get a win; no style points needed.
Patriots 24, Rams 17
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
There are away games. And then there are away games.
The Patriots head to London for the second time in four years to play a football game. Not a playoff game. Not the Super Bowl. Just a regular season game. It’s all part of Roger Goodell’s plan for NFL world dominance.
The St. Louis Rams are the ‘home’ team although given the New England Patriots global popularity, something tells me the Rams will know they, too, are on the road.
But, as Norm Crosby would say, I digest.
Let’s get back to that dominance theme because that’s something the Patriots have not been this year. Perhaps at times they have (after all, they have four wins to their credit), but not for a full 60 minutes. Part of that is due to the other diabolical scheme of Mr. Goodell; parity.
However, the more accurate reason is the team just hasn’t been good enough in various areas to dominate a team. The secondary has been so shoddy that I’m starting to believe the rumors that Venus de Milo, in the pre-season, passed for 250 yards against the likes of Mrs. McCourtney and company.
Which is why we can expect another nail-biter on Sunday. However, this time, the Flying Elvi will have enough points in the end to beat an NFC team.
Patriots 30, Rams 24
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
We don’t know what we have in the 2012 New England Patriots just yet.
We see a team that has had to hang on in the fourth quarter against teams they would have easily put away in the past.
We see strange play-calling and execution with the offense. We see them run the ball well, but then get away from it. We see Wes Welker dominate, but then not get the ball thrown to him when he should. We see a banged up Gronk, Hernandez, and Lloyd. We see an offensive line that misses the great (yes, great) Matt Light. We see a frustrated Tom Brady.
On defense, we see some great plays here and there from Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Kyle Love, Brandon Spikes, Jerod Mayo, etc. But then, we see a team that still can’t defend the pass; even against lesser or rookie quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Mark Sanchez. We see a team that can’t cover average wide receivers and tight ends.
And, that is what the Pats will be facing Sunday in London. An average team that plays well at home and struggles on the road.
The Patriots badly need this game. It’s time to go into their bye week with a dominating win.
Will they? I can’t say they are good enough to blow out a team they should, so I will say simply that the Pats will leave England with a “W.”
Patriots 31, Rams 20
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
I guess we all get the feeling that winning ugly is becoming a Patriots thing. I feel like that’s going to be the same item against the Rams.
The Pats are going to give up the long ball here and there, but at the same time they should be able to score points against this St. Louis defense.
If the New England line can protect Tom Brady in the pocket and avoid a fourth quarter letdown, they should roll into the bye week at 5-3.
Patriots 30, Rams 20
Tale of the Tape: Patriots-Rams
Tune in to the Patriots-Rams game Sunday afternoon at 1pm on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pregame coverage beings at 10am on the Hub with Patriots Preview, with three hours of post game coverage following the game. WBZ-TV kicks off their coverage at 11:30am with a special edition of Patriots All Access, and full post game coverage with Patriots 5th Quarter.