Dec 4, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) carries the ball to score a touchdown during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

LeGarrette Blount (29) rambles 43 yards for a first-quarter touchdown Sunday against the Rams. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots can be grateful they were playing the Rams in the first game without Rob Gronkowski.

Tom Brady completed 33 of 46 passes for 269 yards, connected on a touchdown pass to Chris Hogan and recorded his 201st career win as a starting quarterback in a 26-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium. Stephen Gostkowski added four field goals and LeGarrette Blount ran for a 43-yard touchdown Brady snapped a tie with Peyton Manning to establish a new standard for NFL quarterbacks.

But on a day when they were clearly the better team, their offense never looked like it was fully in sync against a Rams unit that gave up 555 yards and 49 points a week earlier in New Orleans.

It wasn’t the most glamorous or spectacular day by any means for Brady, who was going up against a defensive line that is regarded as one of the most physical in football. With Gronkowski going on IR Saturday, Julian Edelman caught eight passes on 12 targets for 101 yards.

But offensively, the woeful Rams played like a team making a cross-country trip, with little energy and no chance of putting up any kind of fight. The Patriots sacked rookie Jared Goff four times and held the Rams to 1-for-12 on third down.

The win puts the Patriots (10-2) three games up in the AFC East with four weeks left, as the Dolphins (7-5) lost in Baltimore Sunday.

The game started as expected, with the Patriots taking the opening drive of the game and marching 80 yards in eight plays.

On 4th-and-one at the Rams 43, Bill Belichick decided to go for it and was rewarded when LeGarrette Blount ran up to the right side of the line and then bounced outside. He had mostly green turf in front of him. He turned around a defensive back on his way to his 13th rushing touchdown of the season.

The Patriots made it 14-0 when Tom Brady hit Chris Hogan with a perfect back shoulder pass in the left corner of the north end zone from 14 yards out. The drive was set up when Malcolm Butler picked off a Jared Goff pass at the Rams 37 and returned it to the 30. It was New England’s first interception since Butler intercepted Landry Jones on the first drive of the game in Pittsburgh on Oct. 23.

Not everything was smooth, however, as the Patriots were building up their first-half lead. Namely, rookie Cyrus Jones continues to look extremely shaky handling all kicks.

The Rams won the toss and deferred. On the opening kick, Jones bobbled the ball four yards deep before taking it out to the 20, five yards shy of a touchback spot. Then on the Rams’ second punt of the day from Johnny Hekker, Jones muffed the punt and was saved by Patrick Chung, who raced in and recovered at New England’s 19.

Danny Amendola filled in for Jones on punt returns before getting slammed to the turf on a punt late in the third quarter. He got up hobbling, not able to put much weight on his right leg. He was seen by the medical staff and Bill Belichick on the sideline before hopping to his feet and making his way down the steps to the tunnel. The team later announced he was out with an ankle injury. Eric Rowe was also dinged up in the game with a hamstring injury.

Closing Time noteThe Patriots reached double figures in wins for the 14th straight season.

[For a full box score and stats, click here.]


On the Patriots’ second drive of the day, Brady hit Julian Edelman for 12 yards and first down. The Patriots seemed poised to march down the field and turn the game into a legitimate rout early but Joe Thuney was called for holding Dominique Easley. The Patriots punted.

The Patriots were driving down the field at the end of the first half but the drive stalled and they had to settle for a 28-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 11 seconds left for a 17-0 halftime lead. The Patriots finished the first half with 12 first downs while the Rams had just one. Goff was just 4-of-11 in the first half for 27 yards while running back Todd Gurley was held to 11 yards on five carries in the first half.

The 2001 Patriots were then honored during an eight-minute ceremony, featuring highlights from the ’01 season and the postseason run that ended with Adam Vinatieri’s Super Bowl-winning field goal and Robert Kraft’s “We are all Patriots” speech in New Orleans. Kraft then took the podium to thank the players and fans. Four players from that team addressed the crowd.

Lawyer Milloy, Troy Brown, Drew Bledsoe and Tedy Bruschi all spoke, evoking cheers from the sellout crowd at Gillette. Brown’s speech was the most notable, including the line, “we took on the best team on turf and that made us the best [effing] team on earth.”

The Rams, who missed on their first seven third-down conversions on the day, managed to get on the scoreboard midway through the third quarter. Goff drove the Rams 29 yards in eight plays, capped by Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal.

The Patriots came right back, as Stephen Gostkowski capped a 49-yard, six-play drive with a 48-yard field goal, putting the Patriots up, 20-3, with 5:08 left in the third. The key play of the drive was a 32-yard connection from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman. Brady got pancaked by defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks but not before lofting a pass 32 yards down the right sideline for Julian Edelman. The Patriots leaped high in the air and fought Maurice Alexander for the ball at the LA 47.

On the first play of the next drive, Jabaal Sheard hit Goff as he was throwing, resulting in a wobbly pass that was picked off by a leaping Kyle Van Noy at the Rams 40. That drive also stalled, resulting in a 45-yard Gostkowski field goal, making it 23-3.

Bill Belichick spent much of his press conference Wednesday praising Rams punter Johnny Hekker as a “weapon” for Los Angeles. Hekker didn’t disappoint. He punted eight times for an average of 53.8 yards, including a 76-yarder in the fourth quarter that (along with a Patriots holding penalty) flipped field position from the Rams 15 to the Patriots 5.

Goff took advantage of blown coverage on 4th-and-11 in the first play after the two-minute warning to connect with Kenny Britt for 66 yards down the right sideline to the Patriots 1. After illegal substitution and encroachment penalties on the Patriots defense, Goff rolled to his right and hit Britt for the touchdown with 1:15 left.

The Patriots have an extra day of rest this week as they get ready for the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium next Monday night, Dec. 12.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Two quarters are in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots hold a commanding 17-0 lead at the half.

Tom Brady is 17-for-22 for 113 yards and one touchdown pass. LeGarette Blount has 11 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Jared Goff is 4-for-11 for 27 yards and an interception.

FOXBORO — Two quarters are in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots hold a commanding 17-0 lead at the half.

Tom Brady is 17-for-22 for 113 yards and one touchdown pass. LeGarette Blount has 11 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Jared Goff is 4-for-11 for 27 yards and an interception.

The Patriots got on the board early on a 43-yard touchdown run from Blount, which put the capper on a strong and steady eight-play, 80-yard drive. Blount’s touchdown run came on a 4th and one play, as he shook off would-be tacklers like John Riggins four decades before.

New England piled on shortly after that when Malcolm Butler came away with a tipped pass on the last play from scrimmage in the first quarter, setting up the Patriots with optimal field position at the Rams’ 37-yard line. New England punched it in a few plays later when Brady hit Chris Hogan with a 14-yarder with 13:04 left in the first half to make it 14-0.

Defensively, everything was clicking for the Patriots. The Rams didn’t run a play in New England territory at all in the first half. The highlight of the first two quarters for Los Angeles? Punter Johnny Hekker, who was pretty much as advertised, connecting on four punts for a 49.8 average.

The Patriots added a 29-yard field goal with 11 seconds left when the offense stalled in the Los Angeles red zone — a pass from Brady to Martellus Bennett in the end zone was broken up, leaving New England to have to settle for a three-pointer from Stephen Gostkowski.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Jonathan Kraft remembers what the bad old days were like in Foxboro.

That’s why, with 2001 Patriots back in town for a reunion, the team president says he and his father are going to do everything in their power to make sure they don’t fall back there anytime soon.

Jonathan Kraft

Jonathan Kraft

FOXBORO — Jonathan Kraft remembers what the bad old days were like in Foxboro.

That’s why, with 2001 Patriots back in town for a reunion, the team president says he and his father are going to do everything in their power to make sure they don’t fall back there anytime soon.

The 2001 Patriots have been honored all season in the 15th anniversary of the Super Bowl win over the Rams. Several members were are in town this weekend for the festivities. On Saturday night, there was a gala dinner of sorts where everyone got together to reminisce.

“Bill made a very emotional speech about that [Saturday] night,” Kraft said on the team’s pregame radio show.

“When we saw we were playing the Rams and noticed it was a multiple-of-5 [years], it was a special time in the country, the last time a team played in Foxboro Stadium. We gathered 35-40, guys just relaxed and a handful of other people. A lot of reminiscing and story-telling. It was really fun to listen to. There were a bunch of guys that had been with us since the mid-90s on, and that really started the cultural change. Guys like Willie [McGinest] and guys like Drew [Bledsoe] and Ty [Law], Lawyer [Milloy] and Tedy Bruschi.

“As Teddy Johnson said to me, ‘I remember when I started playing here, no one cared about pro football in this town. It feels really good when I come back here now, the place pro football has. It was fun to celebrate it.

“I remember sitting on a lot of empty days at [Foxboro] Stadium and watching a lot of losing football There are cycles in the NFL and teams win and lose but it felt like… nothing ever really went all that right. That’s not to criticize anybody. That’s not directed at anybody. I do remember what that’s like and we do think about that all the time here and if you’re on edge, you can get back there pretty quick. It’s a not a place you want to revisit. You want to push it off. Eventually, you might have to but we’re going to avoid it for as long as we can.”

Kraft also sent out his best wishes to Rob Gronkowski and insisted the team considers the tight end a vital part of their future.

“You’re not happy,” Kraft said of the injury news this week. “Rob works as hard as anybody as we’ve talked about before. You really feel for Rob. it’s terrible. He loves football. It’s awesome to watch him play and he’s just a bigger than life personality, on and off the field, and you feel for him. He’s gone through a lot physically and you just feel for him.”

Kraft said there was a specific reason the team and the Gronkowski family issued a joint statement.

“I think for both sides, sometimes there’s this misperception in the public about what the relationship is,” Kraft said. “The relationship is between Rob and his family and Drew Rosenhaus [and the team] is a very strong relationship but when you’re a player of Rob’s caliber and stature, not just in New England but across the NFL, there’s a different level of attention and the conspiracy theories. Both sides remained in communication the whole time.

“Rob suffered that injury in the Jets game, contrary to certain conspiracy theories. We were all in complete agreement the whole way through. Rather than allow the conspiracy machine percolate with theories that go well beyond the reasonable, we put out that joint statement. That’s really it. You hope Rob makes a speedy recovery. I was shown a video on Instagram this morning. That was classic Rob, makes you feel good.”

“Rob’s a dependable football player. It’s a physical game as we’ve talked about before. He’s a big guy and when big guys move at fast speeds, things can happen. But Rob’s absolutely a dependable football player and he does everything that’s asked of him. To have a guy who’s such a high quality player who works so hard, just sets a tone across the organization. A very dependable guy.”

On Alan Branch winning his appeal from the NFL on his four-game suspension: “Alan, from the start, felt it was not accurate. We got a letter, a note to Bill, ‘the suspension has been rescinded.’ He was so adamant about it. Looks like he was right.”

On the team reportedly playing the Raiders in Mexico City in 2017: “We love playing outside the country. London two times. Against the Cowboys [in ’98], we played down there and we loved it. That stadium is awesome! If the league asked us to do it, we’d love to do it.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Pete and Price get to more analysis and breakdowns as they discuss how both of these teams will approach one another. They talk about things to keep an eye on and interesting stats before getting Price's prediction.

[0:05:24] ... up to Tokyo quarters up. But I've come up with that what Bill Belichick take full credit for that's okay that go over formations or brio yards out weeks got October. That means that should light ...
[0:07:01] ... vote for for the last dollar from the all efforts how to Jeff Fisher tries to attack this Patriots defense now. Christian fixation rubber ball while I'm much or that's going to be the case I ...
[0:11:35] ... the from most of the year since drew back his. Is is Rob Ninkovich was talked about this with their print jobs mossy yesterday were goes on. On this on the station. What is his breakout game and happen. Today that after mr. belt he's just he's not had one of those moments where inevitably every single year you can point to. Update Rob Ninkovich whether it's multiple sex whether to an interception whether to former every whatever the case may be whether that's injury whether that's ...
[0:16:46] ... quarterback. In his first or second start against the patriots has beaten Bill Belichick and knowing what. Overall he's braced the patriots during that broached the Bill Belichick June 22 rookie quarterbacks bill a seventeen page 75. Against those rookie quarterback. He knew he knew yes off the top here today to really weird group out quarterbacks can you guess the rookie quarterback that the Bill Belichick and start doing. I know I had this was in front of me a couple of weeks ago this stack your book ...






Pete and Price get to more analysis and breakdowns as they discuss how both of these teams will approach one another. They talk about things to keep an eye on and interesting stats before getting Price's prediction.

[0:05:24] ... up to Tokyo quarters up. But I've come up with that what Bill Belichick take full credit for that's okay that go over formations or brio yards out weeks got October. That means that should light ...
[0:07:01] ... vote for for the last dollar from the all efforts how to Jeff Fisher tries to attack this Patriots defense now. Christian fixation rubber ball while I'm much or that's going to be the case I ...
[0:11:35] ... the from most of the year since drew back his. Is is Rob Ninkovich was talked about this with their print jobs mossy yesterday were goes on. On this on the station. What is his breakout game and happen. Today that after mr. belt he's just he's not had one of those moments where inevitably every single year you can point to. Update Rob Ninkovich whether it's multiple sex whether to an interception whether to former every whatever the case may be whether that's injury whether that's ...
[0:16:46] ... quarterback. In his first or second start against the patriots has beaten Bill Belichick and knowing what. Overall he's braced the patriots during that broached the Bill Belichick June 22 rookie quarterbacks bill a seventeen page 75. Against those rookie quarterback. He knew he knew yes off the top here today to really weird group out quarterbacks can you guess the rookie quarterback that the Bill Belichick and start doing. I know I had this was in front of me a couple of weeks ago this stack your book ...






Pete and Price talk about the Rams not having WR Tavon Austin or DE Robert Quinn today - big news for the Patriots.

[0:02:20] ... and so. Losing Quinn today that that is a big blow for loss income was 2.2 about the about Austin. Austin the second leading receiver for the Los Angeles office report catches 401. Yards and three touchdowns he's also their primary punt returner. Averaging eat dirt or turn. On 29 chances so it's gonna be fasting to see how the premiums. Trying Cole about replacing those two today after imagine that we talked about with but off the year before playing quit. Really young receiver in profits they think that quake is probably going to be for more opportunities today. Because of no. If Austin so it's it's going to be passing the interim just. Actually lots more disgusted and this football game lots of numbers throw accurate or. Or theories on how the preached you attack the brands and other Ramsey who maybe can't ...



Pete and Price talk about the Rams not having WR Tavon Austin or DE Robert Quinn today - big news for the Patriots.

[0:02:20] ... and so. Losing Quinn today that that is a big blow for loss income was 2.2 about the about Austin. Austin the second leading receiver for the Los Angeles office report catches 401. Yards and three touchdowns he's also their primary punt returner. Averaging eat dirt or turn. On 29 chances so it's gonna be fasting to see how the premiums. Trying Cole about replacing those two today after imagine that we talked about with but off the year before playing quit. Really young receiver in profits they think that quake is probably going to be for more opportunities today. Because of no. If Austin so it's it's going to be passing the interim just. Actually lots more disgusted and this football game lots of numbers throw accurate or. Or theories on how the preached you attack the brands and other Ramsey who maybe can't ...



FOXBORO — Martellus Bennett is going to get paid.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots offered Bennett $7 million per year, but he turned it down.