Week 14 Recap: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 14 Recap: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

by December 11, 2020 0 comments

In a game with major playoff implications on the line for both teams, the New England Patriots (6-7) were dominated by the Los Angeles Rams (9-4). The loss exposed multiple holes in New England’s offense while solidifying the Rams as legitimate contenders this year.

First Half

Los Angeles came out strong, taking advantage of the Patriots’ suspect run defense on the opening drive. New England almost put together a goal-line stand, but Jared Goff leaped over his offensive line on fourth and goal from the one-yard line, breaking the plane and putting L.A. on the board.

The Patriots’ first two offensive drives were lackluster, resulting in punts from their own territory. After a Matt Gay field goal put the Rams up 10-0, Myles Bryant gave the Patriots life, intercepting a poorly thrown Goff pass and giving New England the ball on Los Angeles 32-yard line. 

Cam Newton quickly turned that chance into points for the opposition, forcing a ball in the direction of Damien Harris that Kenny Young intercepted and ran back 79 yards for a touchdown. All of a sudden, Los Angeles had opened up a 17-0 lead. New England drove down the field on the subsequent possession, but came up short on fourth down, as Newton was stuffed on the four-yard line.

The Patriots defense finally managed to stop the bleeding and get on the board with a 39-yard Nick Folk field goal, resulting in a 17-3 Rams lead at halftime.

L.A. Closes it Out

New England wasn’t able to turn the opening second-half drive into points, although N’Keal Harry caught an impressive 30-yard jump ball. The Rams proceeded to milk the clock on their ensuing drive, which resulted in a 2-yard Cooper Kupp touchdown reception from Goff. 

L.A. entered the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead and the ball. After both sides traded poor possessions, Patriots coach Bill Belichick replaced Newton with Jarrett Stidham. The sophomore quarterback wasn’t able to do much as the Rams pass-rush repeatedly dominated New England’s offensive line.

Rookie running back Cam Akers finished with a career-best 194 scrimmage yards on 31 total touches. Both teams collectively ran out the clock through the final quarter, and Los Angeles emerged with a 24-3 victory.

Highlights 

With this loss, New England’s playoffs dreams were effectively shattered, setting them up to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008. Cam Newton has been subpar for almost the entire season, and the defense is a shadow of its former self. As for the Rams, this win secured their spot atop the NFC West for at least another week. Los Angeles has important divisional matchups against the Seahawks and Cardinals awaiting them over the next three weeks, as well as a game against the lowly Jets.

Quite simply, the Rams and Patriots are heading in two completely different directions. 

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