Slideshow: Photos from the Rams-Patriots game
Tom Brady leads Patriots to victory over the Rams, 26-10
Jeff Fisher and the Rams traveled across the country nearly 3,000 miles, but they could not escape controversy.
A few hours after news broke Sunday that Fisher has a contract extension, his team played an uninspired game in a 26-10 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
The defeat, the Rams’ seventh in eight games, dropped their record to 4-8.
The news of Fisher’s extension – he is 31-44-1 in four-plus seasons -- and the loss to the Patriots came seven days after the New Orleans Saints humiliated the Rams, 49-21. And it came six days after hall of famer Eric Dickerson plunged Fisher and the Rams into a weeklong controversy because of a dust-up with Fisher about sideline passes.
Fisher is in the final year of a contract that pays him $7 million annually. General Manager Les Snead, who also is in the final year of his contract, also has an extension. The new deals were confirmed by people with knowledge of the situation, but terms of the new deals were not released
On a sunny day that featured temperatures in the 30s, Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in NFL history as the Patriots improved to 10-2.
The Patriots outgained the Rams, 402-162, and 66 of the Rams’ yards came on one play. The Rams converted only one of 12 third downs.
Brady completed 33 of 46 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff, making his third start, completed 14 of 32 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions. One turnover came on a pass that tipped off tight end Lance Kendricks’ hands, the other after a Patriot defender hit Goff’s arm while he was attempting to pass.
Todd Gurley rushed for only 38 yards in 11 carries.
The Patriots took a 17-0 halftime lead and got three second-half field goals from Stephen Gostkowski.
One of the only things that went right for the Rams was when Fisher won a challenge after officials ruled that Brian Quick was out of bounds when he made a 17-yard catch in the third quarter. Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal six plays later eliminated the possibility of a shutout.
Goff connected with receiver Kenny Britt for a 66-yard gain with less than two minutes left, and then passed one yard to Britt for a touchdown that made the score 26-10.
The Patriots cruised to a 17-0 halftime lead on a long touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount, a touchdown pass from Brady to receiver Chris Logan and a field goal.
The Patriots outgained the Rams, 230-25, and held the ball nearly 22 minutes in the first two quarters.
The Rams, who gave up two touchdowns on fourth-down plays last week at New Orleans, did it again Sunday.
On the first possession of the game, the Patriots had a fourth-and-one at the Rams’ 43. Blount took a hand-off, bounced outside toward the right sideline and turned around safety Maurice Alexander on his way to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Goff’s pass on the final play of the first quarter bounced off the hands of tight end Lance Kendricks and into the arms of cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Brady took over at the 30-yard line and four plays later connected with Logan for a 14-yard touchdown.
The Patriots added a late field goal for the 17-0 lead.
The Rams fall to the Patriots, 26-10
Tom Brady took a knee and earned his 201st victory, the most wins ever for an NFL quarterback.
The Patriots defeated the Rams, 26-10.
The Rams fall to 4-8, and the Patriots improve to 10-2.
Jared Goff completed 14 of 32 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions.
Todd Gurley rushed for 38 yards in 11 carries.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 26-10, in the fourth quarter
Jared Goff completed a 66-yard pass to Kenny Britt on fourth and one and the Rams’ finally reached 100 yards of total offense.
And the next milestone, a touchdown.
Goff completed a one-yard pass to Britt in the end zone.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 26-10, with 1:15 remaining in the game. The scoring drive covered 66 yards in six plays and took 2:14.
Patriots punt after offense stalls
This game just needs to end.
LaGarrett Blount rushed for eight yards and Julian Edelman caught a six-yard pass before the series stalled.
The Patriots have eclipsed 400 yards of total offense.
Rams’ offense continues to struggle
The Rams are one for 11 on third down. That’s about all you need to know with the Patriots leading, 26-3.
Johnny Hekker punted.
Todd Gurley rushed for 10 yards in two carries.
Jared Goff threw four incomplete passes. Some were errant throws, others were catchable.
The Rams have 97 yards of offense to the Patriots’ 390.
The Patriots punt for a fifth time
The Patriots punted after four plays.
Malcolm Mitchell caught a 13-yard pass and LaGarrett Blount rushed for four yards in two carries.
Tom Brady’s third-down pass fell incomplete.
Mitchell has caught 10 passes for 82 yards.
Jared Goff sacked for a third time
The Patriots have kept coming at Jared Goff all day and the rookie quarterback was sacked for a third time.
Three and out the Rams went.
Goff’s protection has been marginal, his receivers haven’t helped and the run game is still nonexistent.
Johnny Hekker for MVP. His punt traveled 76 yards.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 26-3, in the fourth quarter
The Patriots kicked a field goal. Count that as a victory for the Rams’ defense.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 26-3, with 10:48 to play in the fourth quarter. The scoring drive covered 58 yards in 10 plays and took 4:26.
Malcolm Mitchell caught consecutive passes for 12 and 20 yards.
The Patriots have 365 total yards of offense to the Rams’ 92.
Rams safety Maurice Alexander was injured during the series.
Patriots receiver Danny Amendola was injured on the punt return and is questionable to return.
The Rams have not converted once on third down
Jared Goff’s third-down throw to Brian Quick was a bit high, but still catchable... it fell incomplete. The story of the day for the Rams’ receivers.
Johnny Hekker punted for a sixth time.
Goff has been under pressure most of the game, and absolutely was during the latest drive.
He completed a 10-yard pass to Quick, a four-yard pass to Bradley Marquez and a seven-yard pass to Todd Gurley.
Of course, the Rams were plagued by their own penalty when Jamon Brown was called for holding and effectively made it second and 20 instead of third and six.
The Rams are 0-for-eight on third down.
Patriots lead the Rams, 23-3, in the third quarter
Kyle Van Noy intercepted Jared Goff, and the Patriots converted it into a 45-yard field goal.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 23-3, with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 13 yards in six plays and took 1:56.
The Rams defense did a nice job holding the Patriots to a field goal after they started with the ball on the Rams’ 40-yard line.
Malcolm Mitchell caught an 11-yard pass in between two incomplete throws by Tom Brady.
Matt Longacre and Michael Jordan tackled LaGarrett Blount for a one-yard loss and then James White caught a three-yard pass.
Patriots lead the Rams, 20-3, in the third quarter
LaMarcus Joyner and Michael Brockers made two plays on defense to force the Patriots to kick a 48-yard field goal.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 20-3, with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 49 yards in six plays and took 2:42.
Julian Edelman caught 32-yard and 15-yard passes. Joyner tackled Chris Hogan after he gained one yard, and Michael Brockers met LaGarrett Blount as he rushed one yard.
Tom Brady’s third-down pass fell incomplete.
The Rams’ defense has allowed 20 points, but if the offense had any life to it at all, this would be a ball game.
Patriots lead the Rams, 17-3, in the third quarter
Jeff Fisher dug through his winter parka, searching for his challenge flag, but couldn’t find it and had to holler at the official that he wanted to challenge a call.
That is this Rams game, in a nutshell.
Nevertheless, the series ended in Greg Zuerlein kicking a 44-yard field goal for the Rams’ first points of the day.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 17-3, with 7:50 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 29 yards in eight plays and took 4:55.
The challenge came on a critical second-and-17 catch by Brian Quick, who made an athletic grab and got both feet inbounds. The officials initially ruled him out.
Goff also completed an eight-yard pass to Pharoh Cooper, and Todd Gurley got his legs moving, rushing for 15 yards in three carries.
Patriots slowed by penalty in their first series of the second half
The Patriots punted after a first-down penalty slowed the drive.
They were called for an illegal shift on first down, to put them into first and 15.
Danny Amendola caught a five-yard pass, and Tom Brady’s next two attempts fell incomplete.
Rams receivers continue to make errors in second half
What’s Jared Goff to do? The rookie quarterback can only make so many plays before he needs some assistance.
On the first play of the second half, Kenny Britt is called for a false start. On the second play, he drops a nice pass from Goff, who escaped from pressure to make the throw.
Todd Gurley and Cody Wichman combined for a chop block on second down.
On third down, Lance Kendricks catches a pass that’s far short of a first down.
The Rams’ numbers on offense are bleak at halftime
The Rams need help on offense.
Through the first half, they have 25 total yards. The Patriots have 230.
Jared Goff has completed four of 11 passes for 27 yards, with an intecerption.
Todd Gurley has rushed for 11 yards in five carries.
Goff has received little help from his receivers, with Lance Kendricks dropping a pass that fell into the hands of Malcolm Butler for an interception and Kenny Britt dropping another perfect that would have resulted in a first down.
The Rams have one first down. The Patriots have 12.
The Rams have ran 18 plays on offense, the Patriots 42.
The Rams have had the ball for 8:09, the Patriots for 21:51.
Patriots lead the Rams, 17-0, in second quarter
T.J. McDonald made a nice pass breakup in the end zone to hold the Patriots to a 28-yard field goal.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 17-0, with 11 seconds remaining in the first half. The scoring drive covered 48 yards in 13 plays and took 5:19.
Tom Brady and the Patriots are three-for-nine on third down, but most impressively two-for-two on fourth down.
During the series LaGarrett Blount rushed six yards on fourth-and-one in a play that looked identical to his fourth-and-one carry in the first series of the game when he sprung for a touchdown.
Brady has completed 17 of 22 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Rams receivers dropping passes and stalling offense
Someone, anyone, help Jared Goff.
Goff made a nice pass to Kenny Britt on third down and Britt dropped it.
Johnny Hekker punted a fourth time, after a fourth three-and-out.
Add Britt to the list of receivers who haven’t aided in the effort of the rookie quarterback, along with Brian Quick and Lance Kendricks.
Rams defense slows Tom Brady and the Patriots in second quarter
The Rams’ defensive line put together a nice series and made a stop.
T.J. McDonald blitzed and hit Tom Brady on third down, forcing an incomplete pass.
The Patriots were swiftly moving the ball: Julian Edelman caught a seven-yard pass, Danny Amendola made a 17-yard reception, then Malcolm Mitchell caught a 14-yard pass.
But the series stalled when the line put pressure on Brady, forcing an incomplete pass. Maurice Alexander tackled Dion Lewis after a short gain, and then the blitz.
Rams offense is sputtering against the Patriots
The Rams’ offense is so bad; there’s not much more to say.
Todd Gurley rushed for two yards before Jared Goff was blitzed and sacked for a big loss.
Goff, facing third-and-20, completed a 10-yard pass to Tyler Higbee, and Johnny Hekker punted again.
It remains entirely puzzling why Gurley, the 2015 NFL offensive rookie of the year, cannot run the football this season.
Gurley has rushed for six yards in four carries and now, down two touchdowns, it will be difficult to try to get him going.
Patriots lead the Rams, 14-0, in the second quarter
Malcolm Butler intercepted Jared Goff and four plays later the Patriots converted it into a touchdown.
Tom Brady completed a 14-yard pass to Chris Hogan for a touchdown and the Patriots lead the Rams, 14-0, with 13:04 to play in the second quarter. The scoring drive covered 30 yards in four plays and took 1:56.
Dion Lewis rushed for 16 yards in three consecutive carries
Malcolm Butler intercepts Jared Goff
Jared Goff needs some help from his receivers.
Malcolm Butler grabbed a pass tipped by Lance Kendricks for an interception and the Patriots will have the ball on the Rams’ 30-yard line.
Brian Quick also dropped a long pass from Goff.
The rookie has shown some poise against the Patriots, but at some point his receivers need to make catches.
The interception was Goff’s second of the season.
Rams defense shows up late in first quarter
The Rams’ defense came alive in its third trip to the field.
Ethan Westbrooks tackled LaGarrett Blount for a three-yard loss and then Michael Brockers tipped a Tom Brady pass that Alec Ogletree nearly intercepted before James White somehow brought it down.
Nevertheless, Brady’s third-down pass fell incomplete and the Patriots punted.
Blount rushed for 11 yards in two carries and Julian Edelman caught a 13-yard pass to start the drive.
Blount has already rushed for 64 yards.
Rams go three-and-out on offense, again
The Rams went three-and-out for a second consecutive series.
Jared Goff attempted a deep throw down the sideline to Kenny Britt, but it fell incomplete.
Todd Gurley rushed for two yards and then Goff, on third-and-eight, completed a six-yard pass to Brian Quick.
Johnny Hekker could be the Rams’ MVP today.
Interesting to note, Goff is wearing gloves on both hands. The game time temperature in Foxborough, Mass., was 39 degrees.
Penalty slows the Patriots
The Rams’ best defense so far was a Patriots’ penalty.
Julian Edelman caught a 12-yard pass to start the series, but it was called back because of holding.
Facing first and 20, Martellus Bennett caught a two-yard pass, LaGarrett Blount rushed for three yards, and Maurice Alexander made a great tackle against Dion Lewis far short of a first down.
The Patriots punted; the Rams will have the ball on their 28-yard line.
Bennett is likely to be a big target today for Tom Brady with Rob Gronkowski sidelined with an injury.
Video: Patriots’ LeGarrette Blounts runs 43-yards for a touchdown on fourth down
Rams go three-and-out in first series
It could be a long day for the Rams, based on their first series.
Todd Gurley was tackled in the back field, Jared Goff’s first pass attempt tipped off the fingers of Pharoh Cooper and was nearly intercepted, and then Goff spun away from a sack before he had to throw the ball away on third down.
Cooper, the rookie fourth-round pick out of South Carolina, likely will get more playing time today because Tavon Austin is inactive.
Patriots lead the Rams, 7-0, in the first quarter
The Patriots just established the run against the Rams in a big way.
LaGarrett Blount, on fourth-and-one, made a move to the right side and rushed 43 yards for a touchdown.
The Patriots lead the Rams, 7-0, with 10:38 to play in the first quarter. The scoring drive covered 80 yards in eight plays and took 4:22.
Blount rushed for 55 yards in three carries, James White rushed for nine yards in one carry and Dion Lewis rushed for four yards in one carry.
Tom Brady completed all three of his passes for 12 yards.
Brady made his 231st career start and tied John Elway for the fifth most all-time starts.
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher receives contract extension, source tells The Times
What a morning it has already been for the Rams, with contract news leaking ahead of kickoff in Foxborough.
Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead have signed extensions, a source has told The Times.
The Rams are 4-7, and Fisher is 31-43-1 in his five seasons with the team.
It’s curious timing for the contract news to come out, given that the Rams have lost six of their last seven games and are about to play the 9-2 Patriots, who are in first place in the AFC East.
Eric Dickerson’s sideline absence might be longer than expected.
Rams face a tough task in New England after leaving drama at home
Sometimes you get a wake-up call. We’ve been pretty dominant for four or five weeks and all of a sudden, that wakes you up.
— Gregg Williams, Rams defensive coordinator
He spent the week immersed in controversy, trying to navigate through an impossible-to-win public relations battle with a popular hall of fame player.
No wonder Rams Coach Jeff Fisher was giddy to leave Southern California and the Eric Dickerson feud behind.
Fisher and his team also want to distance themselves from last week’s humiliating defeat at New Orleans.
“Just a short trip,” Fisher said, laughing, before the Rams departed on a near 3,000-mile journey to play the New England Patriots. “Hop, skip and a jump.”
Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium marks the final long sojourn for a Rams team that returned home with victories after cross-country trips to Tampa Bay and East Rutherford, N.J., and losses at Detroit, London and New Orleans.
The matchup against the Patriots will probably be the most difficult.
Rams and Patriots inactive players
Rams inactive players:
Receiver Tavon Austin
Defensive end Robert Quinn
Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold
Quarterback Sean Mannion
Tight end Temarrick Hemmingway
Offensive lineman Pace Murphy
Cornerback Steve Williams
Patriots inactive players:
Safety Jordan Richards
Receiver Matt Slater
Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton
Running back D.J. Foster
Tackle LaAdrian Waddle
Defensive lineman Darius Kilgo
Cornerback Justin Coleman
Tom Brady’s biggest fan works for the Rams
At a pretty critical moment in my career, he was someone who was right there by my side. I’m forever grateful to him and his commitment to me, and we’re lifelong friends because of that.
— Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
More than 66,000 bundled-up spectators will pack Gillette Stadium on Sunday and not only cheer for New England against the Rams, but for quarterback Tom Brady to claim another piece of NFL history. Last week, he tied the retired Peyton Manning with his 200th victory.
One of Brady’s best friends and most devoted supporters will be watching from a prime vantage point.
The visitors’ sideline.
Neal ElAttrache, team physician for the Rams, helped save Brady’s career. ElAttrache reconstructed the left knee of the future Hall of Famer, who suffered a three-ligament tear in a 2008 season opener.
Rams vs. Patriots: How they match up
Rams pass offense vs. Patriots defense: Rookie Jared Goff made big strides in his second NFL start, completing 17 of 31 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns last week at New Orleans. He also demonstrated poise after losing a fumble and having a pass intercepted. Kenny Britt has a team-best 54 catches. Receiver Tavon Austin has not practiced because of a chest injury and is listed as doubtful. The Patriots are giving up 253.6 yards per game passing, which ranks 18th in the NFL. Lineman Trey Flowers has four sacks, and three players have intercepted passes.
Rams run offense vs. Patriots run defense: Running back Todd Gurley continues to search for a breakout opportunity. Gurley has been dealing with a thigh injury, so a cold-weather game would not seem to be the antidote. The Rams’ offensive line also continues to be an issue for a team that ranks 29th in rushing. Last week, Rodger Saffold moved from left guard to left tackle to replace Greg Robinson, and then Saffold injured his hand. The Patriots rank 13th in the NFL against the run, giving up 99.5 yards rushing per game. Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan are the leading tacklers for a unit that ranks 14th in total defense.