Check out the latest NFL odds for this Thursday Night Football!
|New England Patriots||+5.5
|Los Angeles Rams||-5.5
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At this point in the season, the Rams are more effective than the Patriots on both sides of the ball, but it is highly doubtful that against quarterback Cam Newton and that 12th ranked defense they can cover this spread.
Patriots +5.5 (-110)
|Patriots vs Rams Information|
|What||New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams|
|Where||SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA|
|When||Thursday, December 10, 2020; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX / NFLN|
In Week 13, HC Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots offense took charge of the game, with QB Cam Newton and his offense squad putting 45 points on the board against the LA Chargers while the team’s defense didn’t let them score a point, with the type of pass rush that could give Rams QB Goff some trouble.
Rams QB Jared Goff needs to step up and prove his doubters wrong, the haters who claim his 10 picks to just 17 TDs makes him a periodic liability to his 8-4 Los Angeles Rams, yet the tea is tied for first with the Seahawks in the NFC West and would be the third seed in the playoffs if they happened today, a formidable opponent for these Pats.
These two cross-conference rivals have played each other 14 prior times (including 2 postseason games), with the Los Angeles Rams winning 5 of those games and the New England Patriots winning 9 of the games.
Currently, the Patriots have the 22nd most effective offense in the league, one that averages 342 total yards and almost 23 points per game, numbers that seem low given the history of New England on that side of the ball.
It is the first season in a long time without GOAT Tom Brady under center, and his replacement, Cam Newton, has proven he is still capable of plenty of Superman type plays while also showing he often struggles to keep the ball away from his opponents (he has 9 interceptions this year).
Newton and company will be facing the second most effective defense in the league, one that keeps its opponents to twenty points and under 300 overall yards per game, so finding production against that type of resistance could prove to be the difference in this must-win game.
In the last five games, Rams QB Jared Goff has thrown 2 interceptions in three of them, bringing his total number of picks this season up to 10, still less than the 16 he tossed last season.
Goff completed 79 percent of his passes in the Rams Week 13 win over the Cardinals, plus he threw for a touchdown and zero interceptions, with 351 more passing yards added to his stats line.
This guy is 8-4 and has his Rams in a position to make a run for the postseason, but Goff’s recent tendency to throw the ball to opponents has caused a hit to his rep, something he can easily regain with a Week 14 win over these Patriots.
One of the keys to beating these Rams is to put pressure on their QB, Jared Goff, and force him out of the pocket and into improvisation mode, which is something at which Patriots linebacker Chase Winovich excels.
The second-year player leads the Patriots with 3.5 sacks, plus he has 8 quarterback hits, an interception, and a forced fumble with 38 combined tackles, 4 of those being for a loss.
Winovich will most likely get some sacking help from his fellow Patriots pass rushers, including defensive ends Deatrich Wise Jr. (2.5 sacks) and Lawrence Guy (2.0 sacks), who are known for their relentless pressure and ability to take ball carriers down.
One of the keys to helping Rams QB Goff get back to being a comfortable passer is having wide receiver Robert Woods continue his effective 2020 season, the eight-year NFL veteran in his fourth season with Los Angeles.
Woods’ numbers are decent so far this season – he has been targeted 98 times and has caught 71 of those passes for 764 yards and 5 touchdowns, which compared to the 2 TDs he caught for all last season, his contributions have become invaluable to the Rams offense.
There are plenty of other soft hands and quick feet for Goff to target – Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, and TE Tyler Higbee, for example – so OC Kevin O’Connell and HC Sean McVay have to find the right game plan that spreads the love around against a greedy Patriots secondary that’s known for stealing errant passes (14 INTs, 3rd most).
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