When it comes to the Patriots running Ryan Allen out on the field, I’m pretty confident that he’ll be his usual consistent self with pinpointing his punts and the coverage team will pin the Rams deep. If you didn’t already know about the connection between both teams’ punters, you should check out this article from Pats Pulpit.
The Rams defensive player who actually worries me most is Ndamukong Suh. While he might be better behaved than he used to be, he’s still the guy who will kick a guy when he’s down. Although he didn’t get flagged for it, this season he got away with with punching and choking Patrick Mahomes when he was trying to slide. The fact that Suh’s dirty antics typically involve cheap shots to quarterbacks does concern me.
Other huge missed opportunities from that game include not holding onto interceptions, having big plays wiped out by bad calls far from the play, questionable play calling/personnel being used, and failing to convert 4th and inches.
Whether we look at these missed plays as bad plays or missed opportunities, we can’t afford to have them two games in a row.
For the season the Patriots once again lead the league with the least number of fumbles (0.6 per game). Unfortunately when they have fumbled the ball they typically lose possession of it (0.4 per game). While that’s still a pretty low number, it does suddenly put us tied with the Rams.
When it comes to recovering fumbles, the Rams have the best rate in the NFL with just under 67%. Should the ball hit the deck today, the Patriots need to be ready for it.
Who should the Patriots expect to fumble the ball? Jared Goff is second in the league with fumbles this season. He has fumbled at least once in his past 8 games. With Super Bowl nerves and all of those new slick footballs in play, I’d be shocked if he loses his handle less than a handful of times.