Rams vs. Patriots: Game Preview and Mailbag

NEPD Staff Writer: Joon Lee

Follow me on Twitter @iamjoonlee and ask me questions throughout the weeks so we can get some more weekly mailbag questions.

Here is this week’s question:

@TroyBallards: If Tom Brady offered to hook-up with you, would you accept his offer? #BradyLove

I’ll tell you this, the first time I saw Tom Brady in-person, I was incredibly star-struck. This question also reminds me of the question on the WEEI Whiner Line where the caller asked Pete Shephard, a professed Tom Brady lover if he would rather “have fun” with Gisele Bundchen or have lunch with Tom Brady and he had to pause to answer the question. Still one of the funniest radio moments ever.

Now I’m all for the ladies, but I would love to have lunch with Brady. As for hooking up? No thank you.

And another from our buddy Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN)

@iamjoonlee Who’s your favorite Brookline High graduate?

I am a senior at Brookline High School and there have been a bunch of famous graduates from the high school. One important one is Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. We wouldn’t have a team in New England without him. There is also Conan O’Brien, who was once the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper I write for. Then there is also John Hodgman and don’t forget boy genius Theo Epstein. Check out the Wikipedia page, the list goes on and on.

Lets take a look at this week’s injury report:

OUTRunning back Brandon Bolden (knee), Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder), Cornerback Ras-I Dowling (thigh), Safety Steve Gregory (hip), Tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle), Defensive end Trevor Scott (hamstring), Linebacker Tracy White (foot) QUESTIONABLE: Defensive tackle Ron Brace (back), Wide receiver Julian Edelman (hand), Tight end Rob Gronkowski (hip), Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (hamstring), Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (knee), Left guard Logan Mankins (calf, hip), Linebacker Jerod Mayo (elbow, illness), Offensive lineman Nick McDonald (shoulder), Cornerback Sterling Moore (knee), Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee), Wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle) PROBABLE: Defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee)

Cornerback Ras-I Dowling has been placed on injured reserve for the second year straight. After a very strong training camp, Dowling has rarely seen the field this year. Dowling struggled in the Jets game this past week and his season is now over. Dowling has not been able to stay healthy since his senior season at the University of Virginia. Dowling has struggled to stay on the field and may now be in danger of being cut next year if he cannot stay healthy.

The fact that both Steven Gregory and Patrick Chung are out for the Patriots secondary is absolutely huge. Tavon Wilson will be the best player at the safety position and Sterling Moore and Devin McCourty will likely rotate at the safety position. Ram’s quarterback Sam Bradford might have a field day against the secondary, even with his mediocre talents.

Aaron Hernandez is out for the Patriots and will likely change the offensive gameplan of the New England Patriots significantly.

Notables

This is a huge week for the Patriots secondary and they need to prove that they are capable of containing a good quarterback. They are going to be down their two best safeties, although Chung has been lackluster this season and Gregory is nothing more than an above-average safety.

Tom Brady is going to have the opportunities to be successful against this Ram’s offense, although the defense does have studs in James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lunn Dunbar and Cortland Finnegan. There is also Janoris Jenkins who was an oft-troubled draft prospect this past draft season. The Patriots have in the past had interest in all four of the players mentioned.

Expect Stevan Ridley to get a lot of carries this week. The Patriots offense is always at their best when the run game is on. Also look out for the carries Shane Vereen gets after having a solid week against the Jets.

Prediction: Patriots 34-Rams 21

Expect the Pats offense to have a good day while Sam Bradford has success against the secondary. Expect a high scoring game. There is a chance that the game could wear down on the players as there will be significant jet-lag and a lot of traveling throughout the week.

Tags: Game Preview, Mailbag, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley

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