The Los Angeles Rams earned a big division win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, but things don’t get any easier moving forward as they now welcome the New England Patriots to town on a short week for Thursday Night Football.
The Patriots are playing better football as of late, winning four of their last five to get to 6-6 in hopes of one final playoff push.
This also marks the first time the Rams have played the Patriots since the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, and there is no doubt that L.A. is looking to get some revenge.
When talking about the Rams, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is not focused on the Super Bowl rematch aspect of this game considering there are so many different players this time around, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“There’s certainly some familiar faces, but there’s quite a few differences too,” Belichick said on a conference call with Rams beat writers Monday afternoon. “Two new coordinators on defense and special teams. We didn’t see (Rams wide receiver Cooper) Kupp. Defensively, there’s certainly some new faces there too. But, corners (Jalen) Ramsey and Darious Williams and those guys are pretty good. Really, we’re more focused on what we have now and not worry about too much about what happened a couple of years ago. It just really doesn’t matter too much right now.”
It’s no secret that Rams quarterback Jared Goff struggled in the Super Bowl as the offense only mustered three points. Belichick has definitely seen some progress from Goff this season though:
“Played in and won a lot of big games, like the Tampa game,” Belichick said. “I mean, he’s got a good arm, has got good vision on the field. Obviously, a lot of good receivers and tight ends to throw to. He does a nice job of spreading the ball around and executing the offense. There’s a lot of checks on the line of scrimmage. So, you can tell his overall awareness and decision-making, handling the offense, he’s pretty comfortable doing that. So, he helps them in a lot of ways.”
Part of the reason for the Rams’ Super Bowl struggles as well though was the playcalling of Sean McVay, who failed to make adjustments against one of the greatest coaches ever. There is no doubt he has had this game circled on his calendar and while Belichick wouldn’t go into details about their relationship, he shared some praise for McVay and his football knowledge:
“We both grew up in football families. But (I) will just keep the personal part of our relationship private,” Belichick said. “Have a lot of respect for him. Talk to him. He’s got some great insight and great ideas and I always enjoy talking to Sean.”
The Rams currently sit in first place in the NFC West at 8-4, although the Seattle Seahawks are also 8-4 so this is an important game if L.A. wants to go on to win the division.