What we learned from the Rams’ 26-10 loss to the New England Patriots
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount is mobbed by teammates after scoring a touchdown on a 43-yard run against Eugene Sims and the Rams.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams defensive end Eugene Sims can’t prevent Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount from scoring on a long run during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman butt heads after a play in the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks off the field with the most wins ever as a quarterback after defeating the Rams.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams quarterback Jared Goff is sacked by Patriots defenders during the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Patriots receiver Julian Edelman makes an acrobatic catch against Rams safety Maurice Alexander in the third quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams receiver Bradley Marquez can’t make the catch as he’s hit by Patriots linebacker Shea McClellin during the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams running back Todd Gurley picks up short yardage as he’s swarmed by Patriots defenders during the third quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams quarterback Jared Goff trips and falls as he tries to hand the ball to running back Todd Gurley (not pictured) during the second quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams running back Todd Gurley tries to grab the ball after quarterback Jared Goff lost control of it as he fell during the exhange in the second quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady escapes the grasp of Rams defensive end Ethan Westbrooks during the second quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams quarterback Jared Goff escapes pressure from Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson tackles Patriots running back Dion Lewis during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Patriots runing back LeGarrette Blount has Rams safety Maurice Alexander turning the wrong direction during a 43-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams quarterback Jared Goff is sacked by Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan during the second quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gets a pass off in front of Rams defensive end Eugene Sims during the third quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher watches his players warm up before their game against the Patriots.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
The Rams have an odd way of handling contract extensions
The Rams’ seventh defeat in eight games was overshadowed by the news that Coach Jeff Fisher had received a contract extension.
Why the Rams thought it was better to keep that under wraps – and have it leak during the end of an already controversial week – is a mystery.
Why not just announce it before the season? Or after the Rams started 3-1?
One thing is certain: Eric Dickerson won’t be roaming the sideline rooting on Fisher.
Jared Goff is improving with experience
Get past the numbers.
A week after passing for three touchdowns, with an interception and a fumble at New Orleans, Goff passed for a touchdown with two interceptions against the Patriots.
Both interceptions on Sunday resulted from another player’s miscue: one bounced off the hands of tight end Lance Kendricks and the other came after a Patriots pass rusher hit Goff’s arm as he was throwing the ball.
Britt and other receivers also dropped multiple passes in the 30-degree weather.
Despite those setbacks, and a confusing Bill Belichick scheme, Goff looked like he was going through progressions. And his experience playing against the Patriots should serve him well this week against a more generous Atlanta Falcons defense.
Through three quarters of the season, Todd Gurley remains in search of a 100-yard performance
Running back Todd Gurley gained only 38 yards in 11 carries. His longest run covered nine yards.
The 2015 NFL offensive rookie of the year has not rushed for 100 yards in a game since Dec. 13, 2015, when he ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns in 16 carries against the Detroit Lions.
Gurley, who rushed for at least 128 yards in each of his first four NFL starts, has had only 100-yard game in his last 20.
Cold weather doesn’t bother Johnny Hekker
The Rams’ punter had another good game, averaging 53.8 yards per kick, and putting five of eight inside the 20.
The coverage unit was also outstanding: The Patriots’ Danny Amendola averaged only 1.5 yards for four returns.
The Rams’ fourth-down defense needs work
Full disclosure: This item was in an original draft for last week’s “what we learned” follow-up story about the Rams’ 49-21 loss to the Saints.
It was deleted from the final copy because, in light of the Rams giving up 555 yards – most on first, second and third downs -- I thought it might be a reach.
Remember, the Saints scored two touchdowns in one quarter on fourth-down plays. Running back Mark Ingram scored on fourth and one from the 10-yard line. And quarterback Drew Brees jumped and extended the ball over the goal line on fourth and goal.
On the Patriots’ first possession, Tom Brady and Co. faced a fourth and one at the Rams’ 43. Running back LeGarrette Blount took a hand-off toward the right side, bounced outside and ran to the end zone for touchdown.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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