LA Rams game day primer: Rams must beat Belichick on TNF

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams game primer
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams (8-4) host the New England Patriots (6-6) in a TNF game where both playoff implications and revenge are in play

The LA Rams are back in the lead in the very competitive NFC West. But their hold on the lead is by the thinnest of margins. The Rams hold a tiebreaker over the Seattle Seahawks (8-4) and a small two-game margin over the Arizona Cardinals (6-6) and San Francisco 49ers (5-6). This has not been an easy season. Nor will it get any easier for this one. A short week to prepare to face the New England Patriots who just demolished the LA Chargers 45-0.

The Rams are looking to stretch their post-bye winning ways. If the Rams are to have any hopes for the top seed in the NFC, they must win out. If the New England Patriots are to have any hopes of earning a berth for the NFL Playoffs, they must win out. That means both teams have plenty to play for, and this one will not be easy for either team.

Respect? Yes. Love? No.

Let’s be clear, there is a great deal of respect on both teams for the other. But there is no love lost. The LA Rams were humbled and humiliated by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53, losing in the lowest-scoring championship game in NFL history. That one has stuck with the Rams, and some speculate that it was the hangover from that game that crippled the Rams in 2019, stunting the ability to adapt to the defense engineered to stop them by the Patriots.

The Rams, and particularly head coach Sean McVay, would be thrilled to purge the demons of Bill Belichick and the Patriots in this one. If there was ever a season to defeat the Patriots, this is the year to do it. The Patriots had a four-game losing streak, much of the struggle hinged on shutting down Cam Newton and the Patriots offense.  The Rams have enough defense to give the Patriots offense problems in this one.

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The Thursday night weather in Inglewood, CA is currently forecast to be a clear night with a few clouds. Seasonably cool temperatures will fall out of the mid-’60s to a nighttime low of the mid-’40s throughout the course of the evening. Winds will be very light and variable out of the west-northwest up to 4 mph.