FOXBORO, Mass. — A collection of notes from an eventful Sunday at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots knocked off the Los Angeles Rams 26-10:
— Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola left the game late in the third quarter after injuring his right ankle while fielding a punt. He limped to the sideline, retreated to the locker room, and was seen walking with crutches and a walking boot after the game.
Amendola, who has played in all 12 games this season, caught three passes for 30 yards against the Rams. He took over punt-return duties after rookie Cyrus Jones muffed a punt during the first quarter.
— Tom Brady’s lone touchdown pass in the game came on a sensational back-shoulder catch by Chris Hogan.
“You have to have control of your body,” Hogan explained, “so just getting your head around quick and obviously catching the ball first and kind of letting your feet go dead so that they just go right into the end zone. It was a great throw by Tom.”
Brady completed passes to seven different receivers in the first game following tight end Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending back surgery. Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell each caught eight balls, with Edelman racking up a game- and season-high 101 receiving yards. Mitchell is averaging 74.0 receiving yards per game over the past three weeks after recording 88 total receiving yards over New England’s first nine games.
— Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch spoke with reporters after the game about his successful suspension appeal. Branch, who had his four-game ban overturned Saturday, said he was frustrated to have to go through the appeals process but positive he was in the right.
“It’s kind of crazy, just because — I mean, I am happy, but I knew I didn’t do anything wrong,” Branch said. “It’s just kind of crazy the situation I was put in. The team and I were both confident that I was going to win it. It’s kind of just on to the next game after that. I don’t really have a reaction just because I wasn’t supposed to be in there in the first place.”
Branch, who has started every game this season, finished with one tackle Sunday.
— The Patriots tallied four sacks on Rams quarterback Jared Goff, including one by cornerback Logan Ryan. It was the first sack since 2013 for Ryan, who buried Goff on a rare corner blitz.
“When I’m blitzing, good things happen,” Ryan said. “So the whole team gets happy when they know it’s my number called, and I get happy, too. It’s always good when 26 is blitzing.”
— In a pregame interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said the team would be open to playing a game in Mexico City. ESPN’s John Sutcliffe reported this week that the Patriots and the Oakland Raiders could square off at Estadio Azteca next season.
“We love playing outside the country,” Kraft said. “We played down there (in the late ’90s) and we loved it. … That stadium is awesome, that national stadium. You see why the Mexican national team in soccer is such a home-field advantage. If the league asked us to do it, we’d love to do it. It would be fun. It would be a lot of fun.”
— Sunday was “My Cause, My Cleats” day around the NFL, meaning players were allowed to wear custom footwear championing their various charitable endeavors. Several members of the Patriots and Rams participated.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images