First, in case you went to bed early, here's the TST recap from last night's game.
Naturally, Sam Bradford's name is in all the headlines today. ESPN's Mike Sando says that Bradford should have easily played his way into the starting job come week 1. Saying,
Bradford commanded the offense, scrambled when it was the best choice, threw accurately, checked down quickly to avoid pressure, timed the screen game properly, threw away the ball when appropriate, varied his cadence and even found time to take notes on Tom Brady's body language.
The PD wonders if the announcers will be calling the Bradford to Michael Hoomanawanui connection often this season. Great quarterback play elevates receivers, but it would be hard to argue against Uh Oh having a starting job based on his play through the preseason. That means Daniel Fells gets bumped down a notch on the depth chart and Billy Bajema could be gone completely.
The Belleville News Democrat references some of the evening's most amazing numbers. In time of possession, the Rams outdid the Pats by an amazing margin of 43:46 to 16:13; that stat helped the defense considerably. In total yards, the Rams out gained the Pats 462 to 288, and most of New England's yards came on Tom Brady working against the Rams second and third team defense.
Naturally, the even came with one very grim piece of news, the Rams lost WR Donnie Avery to a knee injury when he crashed on his knee as he turned to catch a ball the brand new turf at Gillette Stadium. Spagnuolo said the injury was "significant" and Fox Sports is reporting that one source said the fear is that Avery could be lost for the season. The Rams have a talented group of young receivers, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a name on the roster right now who has Avery's deep speed and his playmaking threat on the outside.
The PD's Bryan Burwell suggests that it may be time for new owner Stan Kroenke to flex his fiscal muscles and allow GM Billy Devaney to go find a replacement for Avery. The biggest problem with that isn't the money, it's where in the hell would they find such a player? Teams trim their rosters from 80 to 75 men on Tuesday, August 31, before winnowing that bunch down to 53 men in early September. There will be some interesting names available, but I just don't think there will be a receiver who meets that criteria.
Bad feelings in New England. Belichick didn't say much, but he did offer this nugget:
In a game of no defense, we played less.
Spagnuolo, a Massachusetts native, got the win with 40 members of his extended family on hand. He had this to sayabout his team:
I firmly believe that the pains we went through last year we will learn from, and we will reap the rewards of having gone through that. We have a ways to go. This is not a quick turnaround thing, but we’re on our way.