RAMS WHO MUST DELIVER…
Left tackle Greg Robinson. After 35 consecutive starts, the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft was made inactive last week against the Saints. Rodger Saffold, who started in his place, suffered a hand injury that could limit or keep him out against the Patriots. The Rams need Robinson to bounce back and limit errors.
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson. He is the franchise-tagged veteran who leads the secondary that has been under siege the last four-plus quarters. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not shy from going after Johnson in the final minutes at the Coliseum and New Orleans’ Drew Brees also tested him in last week’s rout.
Punter Johnny Hekker. The two-time Pro Bowl player probably has been the Rams’ most consistent performer. The cold and possibly windy conditions at Gillette Stadium could provide the biggest test of the season for a player who has kept the Rams in games by consistently pinning opponents inside the 20.
PATRIOTS TO WATCH OUT FOR…
Tight end Martellus Bennett. The Rams surely caught a break when tight end Rob Gronkowski was declared out because of a back injury (he had surgery Friday in Los Angeles). But it’s not as if the Patriots lack other weapons. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Bennett has 42 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensive end Chris Long. He signed with the Patriots after the Rams released the ninth-year pro in a salary purge during the offseason. Long was limited the last two seasons because of injuries, but he appears to have regained his form while playing in a rotation for a team that regularly contends for the Super Bowl. Long has 25 tackles, including two sacks.
Running back James White. While LeGarrette Blount has rushed for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns, White has caught 43 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. White was a fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2014. He already has eclipsed last season’s 40 catches.
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein