All you need to know when it comes to the Patriots-Rams across the pond

Posted: October 26, 2012 in NFL
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Speaking of football, in London, this weekend it’ll be the kind we’re used to in America, not the brand the Brits are familiar with.

The St. Louis Rams (3-4) “host” Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (4-3) Sunday at Wembley Stadium in the annual NFL International Series in London.

The Patriots are 7-point favorites over the Rams, while the total is sitting at 47.

First-year coach – but certainly no newbie to the game – Jeff Fisher has seemingly turned this team around, and it’s evident on the defensive side of the ball. St. Louis has the 10th-ranked defense in the league overall, after being 22nd last year.

Prior to last week’s 30-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Rams had stifled their foes to a mere 14.7 points per game at home in the Edward Jones Dome, with impressive victories over the Redskins, Seahawks and Cardinals.

Of course, there might be a question mark against more-formidable opponents after seeing what the Packers did; this week may tell more against the Patriots and their No. 1 ranked overall offense.

The young Rams figure to have their hands full, as is this their first trip across the pond; the Patriots have been here before, beating Tampa Bay at Wembley in 2009. And let’s be real, though the official boxscore will list St. Louis as the home team, the Patriots are by far the more popular team in Europe.

No doubt in my mind the Patriots will get a majority of the support.

That’s not to say I’m ready to lay the chalk with New England, especially after seeing last Sunday’s second-half collapse and overall scare, relinquishing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the New York Jets in a three-point, overtime win. And that was one week after blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead in a loss to Seattle.

I will be intrigued to see how well these two teams defend one another, since Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels held the same position with the Rams last season. Theory being, the Rams might be able to predict some of his tendencies, albeit with guys like Brady, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. And, the Patriots could benefit by McDaniels’ info about the tendencies of the Rams’ offensive personnel.

The ‘under’ is on a 4-1 run in this ‘London game,’ and the Rams were on a four-game ‘under’ streak til last week, when they went over 45 with the Packers, totaling 50 points. They have to know their best chance in this game is to slow the Patriots down, eat up clock by controlling the tempo with a strong rushing game, protecting the football and keeping Brady off the field. I can buy into that philosophy and still see the Patriots win this game.

Again, I don’t want to lay the points, since I could see New England up by 10 late in this one, and the Rams scoring a backdoor touchdown. The Patriots might just put it on Fisher’s boys, like they did the Buccaneers in 2009, in a 35-7 rout.

For my official free play on this game, head over to Chris Jordan Sports where I have a 4* play (based on a scale of 1* to 5*) ready right now.

PREVIOUS NFL GAMES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

Oct. 2 2005 Cardinals (-3, 44) 31–14 over 49ers, at Mexico City

Oct. 28 2007 Giants 13-10 over Dolphins (+10, 47.5), at London

Oct. 26 2008 Saints (+3, 45.5) 37-32 over Chargers, at London

Oct. 25 2009 Patriots (-15.5, 44.5) 35-7 over Buccaneers, at London

Oct. 31 2010 49ers (-2, 41) 24-16 over Broncos, at London

Oct. 23 2011 Bears (-1.5, 44) 24-18 over Buccaneers, at London

If you would like a free pick emailed from one of the handicappers in my stable, enter your information below my Customer Service team will take care of the rest!!!

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