Rams defeat New England and Cam Newton

Sean McVay looks for revenge after losing 13-3 to Bill Belichick’s Patriots team in the Super Bowl two years ago. It is different this time around as the Patriots are struggling without Tom Brady who left the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past offseason. (Photo courtesy Trevor Darnell)

The Super Bowl 53 rematch of head coaches Sean McVay and Bill Belichick takes center stage in the Week 14 Thursday Night Football game. 

The visiting New England Patriots are in uncharted territory for them, being 6-6 entering Week 14 and looking at the playoffs from the outside. The Patriots had a rocky start to the season, going 2-5 in their first seven games, losing one of those games to San Francisco by a score of 33-6.

Since that rough start though, New England has turned it around winning 4 of their last 5 games and looking like serious contenders again. Meanwhile, in LA the Rams were looking to get back into the playoffs after missing it last season. 

Rams came into this Week 14 matchup 8-4 and first place in the NFC West. 

The Rams were able to get the offense going early. Within two plays, they were already on the Patriots’ 10-yard line. After 3 plays on a 4th and 1 on the 1-yard line, the Rams were able to get into the endzone with a Jared Goff 1 yard quarterback sneak. 

The first possession for Cam Newton and the Patriots was the complete opposite:  punting it without a first down and with only 2 total yards on the drive. 

Rams offense was able to keep it going and drive down the field but were slowed down by an intentional grounding penalty on Goff and Rams end up having to settle for a field goal but have a 10-0 lead early. 

The Patriots’ offense struggled during the first quarter with only getting one first down and 22 total yards in the quarter but have great field position after an interception was thrown by Goff at the Rams 32-yard line. 

The Patriots’ momentum of great field position was stifled fast with Netwon throwing an interception that was returned 80 yards by cornerback Kenny Young for a Rams touchdown. New England’s hopes for a win were dwindling as they found themselves down 17-0 early in the game with no offensive rhythm and the defense getting pushed around by the Rams. 

Things seemed to be turning around for New England though in the drive right after the pick-six, as the Patriots were able to drive down the field as they got their run game going and a big 25-yard pass from Newton to Damiere Byrd on a long 1st and 20. It was looking like the Patriots were going to put points on the board, but on 4th and goal from the Rams 2-yard line, New England went for it, came up short, and walked away with no points and still trailed 17-0. 

Later in the second quarter, the Patriots would get more offensive rhythm, this time by passing the ball, and were able to come up with points with a Nick Folk chipshot 29-yard field goal. Los Angeles ends up going into the locker room with a 17-3 lead. 

Patriots had the ball to start the second half and looked like they might drive down the field and make it a close game after a Newton pass to N’Keal Harry went for 30 yards. A couple of Damien Harris rushes would put the Patriots in Rams territory, with a first down, and momentum.

But a big sack from Aaron Donald would slow down the offensive momentum a lot and three plays later the Patriots would punt the ball back to the Rams. Los Angeles would slowly drive the field 90 yards and get a Jared Goff pass to Copper Kupp for two yards and a touchdown. The Rams drive took up 9:42 of the game clock and put the Rams back up three scores by a score of 24-3 and that would be the score going into the fourth quarter.

If the Patriots wanted any chance of getting back into the game, it was quickly squashed by the Rams defense that forced two straight three and out drives that went for a total of 2 yards.


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