FOXBORO, Mass. — The NFL can be a very strange league. The Rams not only beat the Seahawks earlier this season, but Los Angeles also defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who trounced Seattle last week. The New England Patriots lost to the Seahawks at home last month.
Through transitive property, that means the Rams are better than the Patriots, right? Ha.
The Rams who showed up to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and lost 26-10 to the Patriots did not appear to be the same type of team that could defeat playoff contenders. They barely gained 100 yards on offense, couldn’t stop the Patriots’ rushing attack and allowed 269 passing yards with little pressure to a team that just lost its best offensive playmaker in tight end Rob Gronkowski.
These six Patriots players shined against the Rams.
RB LEGARRETTE BLOUNT
Blount got things started with a 43-yard touchdown run, almost immediately putting the game out of reach for the hapless Rams. He finished the game with 18 carries for 88 yards with the score.
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
Edelman is looking more and more like himself each week. He led the Patriots with eight catches for 101 yards. It was his fourth consecutive game with more than 75 yards and his first of over 100 this season. He has been a different player since the bye week.
CB MALCOLM BUTLER
Butler had a rough week against the New York Jets, but he came back against the Rams, allowing three catches on seven targets for 78 yards with two pass breakups and one interception — one of two for the Patriots after a month-long hiatus between picks. He looked even better before allowing a 66-yard catch to Kenny Britt with under two minutes left in the game.
CB LOGAN RYAN
Ryan made his biggest impact as a pass rusher, where he had a sack and a QB hit that forced an incompletion. He wasn’t too shabby in coverage either, allowing three catches on four targets for 34 yards. Edge defenders Chris Long, Rob Ninkovich and Shea McClellin also had sacks.
LB KYLE VAN NOY
Van Noy had the Patriots’ other interception, and the newcomer has been a recent bright spot in coverage and as a pass rusher. It’s safe to say the Patriots won that trade over the Lions, when they sent a sixth-round draft pick to Detroit for Van Noy and a seventh-rounder.
KICKER STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI
We criticize Gostkowski when he misses field-goal attempts, so it’s fair to praise him when he makes them. Gostkowski was a perfect 4 of 4 on field goals and 2 of 2 on extra points Sunday. He hit 28-, 44-, 48- and 45-yard field goals.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images