Oct 21, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes the snap during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

St. Louis Rams Week 8 Preview: Key Match Ups Against The New England Patriots


The Rams can’t afford to lose three games in a row before going into their bye week. If the Rams lose against the well drilled New England Patriots, their record will fall to 3-5, then will play a strong San Francisco 49ers coming off the bye week. This could potentially see the Rams record fall to a dismal 3-6. The Rams must win this game, otherwise the strong NFC West teams will break away. In order for the Rams to win this Sunday, there are several very important match ups that will be deciding factors for this weeks game.

Sam Bradford Vs Patriots Secondary
Sam Bradford and his offense must have a stand out game, because the Rams defense will inevitably give up some big plays and touchdowns against the highest scoring team in the NFL. This is a great chance for Bradford to make some noise against a fragile Patriots secondary. The Patriots secondary have really struggled in the 2012 season. Giving up 290 yards a game (29th), 16 passing total touchdowns against (32nd)  and quarterback ratings averaging 99.2 (27th).
The Rams only hope in winning this game is scoring touchdowns. The Patriots will be scoring touchdowns, the Rams can’t afford scoring three points every time they march down to the red-zone, they must the score six points and its starts with Sam Bradford.

Rams Defensive Line Vs Tom Brady
The Patriots offense are averaging 436 yards a game (1st) and have created 216 points for the season (1st) . It’s rather simple. Don’t give Tom Brady time, because if you do, he will orchestrate every single drive and the Rams will be playing Patriots football. Brady and Welker are very much in sync, if the Rams allow these two stud players to get a role on, the Rams will be playing chase for the whole game. It doesn’t matter how good any secondary team is, if the cornerbacks are covering for six to nine seconds the majority of each play, eventually these Patriots receivers will find space, allowing Brady to get rid of the football. The Rams defensive line must get into the back field and make a statement. Get into Brady’s head, make him feel every quarterback hit, try to make him think twice, this will see Brady feel uncomfortable in the pocket and will eventually cause him to make throws that he usually wouldn’t make. The Rams pass rushers have been phenomenal this year, being able to sack the quarterback 21 times, which is tied fifth in the NFL. If the Rams defensive line start getting into the open filled, be prepared to see a very rare sight, Tom Brady struggling.

Cortland Finnegan Vs Wes Welker
Every week Finnegan makes it to the best match up to look out for. And why wouldn’t he? This guy is non stop on the field, he is intense all the time and he doesn’t take any plays off. But what makes this match up really intriguing, is that Wes Welker is intense all time time and doesn’t take one play off as well. So it will be interesting to see who gets the better of each other. Each player are on top in the NFL for their own categories. Finnegan is equal fourth in the NFL for interceptions, while Wes Welker leads the NFL for most receiving yards. Both players excel in the slot positions. There will be times in the game where Welker will have the better of Finnegan, then there will be times when Finnegan gets the better part of Welker. Watch for this match up to be intense from the first snap.

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Tags: New England Pariots St. Louis Rams