Patriots

BSJ Game Report: Rams 24, Patriots 3 – Red-zone woes give LA an easy victory

(Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ loss to the Rams in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

HEADLINES

Patriots run into wall in red zone: It's not like the Rams blew the Patriots out of the building, since seven points were given to LA in the form of a 79-yard Cam Newton pick-six. No, the Patriots lost this game in the red zone, where they were 0 for 4 in excruciating fashion:

- Get ball at Rams 32 off interception, then throw a pick-six from the 19-yard line.
- Get to Rams 2-yard line, but Newton keeps the ball instead of pitching for turnover on downs.
- 3rd and 8 at Rams 17 comes up 2 yards short and Patriots kick a field goal.
- 4th and 4 at Rams 16 with 7:21 to play and Jarrett Stidham pass to Devin Asiasi is broken up.

Even if the Patriots just get three field goals in the other three trips, they have a chance in the second half. But largely it was over.

Belichick doesn't pull Newton until 10:12 remained: After the Rams capped a 16-play, 90-yard drive that took 9:42 with a touchdown to make it 24-3 with 1:33 left in the third quarter, you figured that would be it for Newton, who obviously wasn't successful throwing the ball again. Instead, Belichick ran Newton out there for two more drives that resulted in a total of six plays, two sacks and 2 yards. They were the definition of pointless.

But expect the same thing in 10 days when the Patriots travel to Miami. Belichick was definitive after the game.

"Cam's our quarterback," he said.

Path to playoffs all but closed: Running the table to 10-6 would have given the Patriots a decent chance at the postseason. Now they have to win out vs. Dolphins, Bills and Jets and get a ton of help. It's the end of an era, really. The Patriots can finish no better than 9-7, and it breaks their streak of 17 seasons (2002, 9-7) with double-digit victories. Only the 49ers (16 from 1983-98) are in the same ballpark.

TURNING POINT