1: Pats O Needs More Play-Makers.
The Pats will need to get a hell of a lot more out of Brandon Lloyd than they did last week. He should have a better match-up this week without Antonio Cromartie around and with Wes Welker drawing Cortland Finnegan's underrated attentio. but he needs to step up. The best slot-receiver(Welkah) is taking on perhaps the best slot-back(Finnegan), so don't count on Welker carrying the passing game on his back. Hernandez is also not playing. The Pats win if they can squeeze some out of Welker and get Gronk/Lloyd to carry the load. Though they may need help from another option like maybe RB Shane Vereen, TE Daniel Fells, or WR Julian Edelman. Maybe TE Michael Hoo-Man gets his revenge on the Rams, we'll see. But Gronk/Lloyd are going to need help, especially if Gronk is still playing through injury and Lloyd has a back-to-back game of mediocrity.
2 D's Front-7 Needs to Improve the Pressure.
Pats had 4 sacks last week vs. the Jets. 2 of them were coverage-sacks after Sanchez had the ball for more than 6 seconds. Pats need to bring the heat quicker, and some of that comes down to being more creative. Create situations where the Rams can't constantly double Chandler Jones. Help isolate their LG who, like their LT, just had his 1st NFL start. Get more creative with blitzes. Can anyone guess how many times a Pats DB has blitzed the QB this season? I would love for them to try Tavon Wilson or even Nate Ebner as a 4th or 5th rusher. With Dont'a HIghtower back, they'll have a chance to bring more heat from the LB position. This is also a game where you can expect Jake Bequette to make an appearance. Because of the inexperience on the left side of their OLine we can expect them to over-compensate there, leaving Ninkovich, Hightower, and the other strong-side defenders opportunities to make plays.
3 Pats Need to Find Their Secondary.
Ras-i Dowling is a bust. He's been basically been injured since he was a promising freshman in college. With Chung and Gregory out again we can expect DB-Captain Devin McCourty to stay back as the Free-Safety. Tavon Wilson should be brought closer to the line where he can help with the run-game like a more traditional SS, and the Pats got to hope Dennard/Cole can deal with the WRs on the outside. If not Cole, then Arrington and God help us all. I could see them trying Arrington or Moore back at FS and bring Devin McCourty back to CB with Dennard as the starters, but for now I'd count on McCourty at FS and Wilson at Strong-Safety.
4 Play 60 Minutes.
The Pats have yet to do this all season. How many opening-drive scores for the opponents? How many leads lost in the end of the game?
5 Stop giving up huge plays.
Chris Givens is definitely a huge-play type of receiver, and B Steven Jackson may be in what essentially amounts to a contract year.