With the game just hours away, let's take a look at my bold predictions for New England's Week 8 match-up against St. Louis.
1. Sam Bradford will throw for 300-plus yards
Wait—is this really that bold after all? I mean, the Patriots pass defense is the 29th worst in the NFL as they're allowing a whopping 290 passing yards per-game.
Let's be honest: I don't care who's playing quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots will end up making the opposing quarterback look like Joe Montana. It's just the way things have gone thus far in 2012 for the Pats.
2. Tom Brady will be sacked four times
The St. Louis Rams enter Week 8 tied for the fifth most sacks in the NFL as they've accumulated an impressive 21 thus far in 2012. Robert Quinn and Chris Long have led the way for the Rams' pass rush as the duo have combined for 11 out of their 21 total sacks.
If the Patriots want to move the ball consistently against the Rams, then their offensive line will have to do a solid job at protecting Tom Brady.
3. Stevan Ridley will be New England's top offensive performer
Stevan Ridley has been on a bit of a cold-streak as of late, as he's rushed for just 99 yards in his last two games since he ran for a whopping 151 yards Week 5 against the Denver Broncos.
I see Ridley's cold-streak coming to an end in London and will pick up some of the slack for New England's offensive line that will struggle in protecting Tom Brady.
4. Cortland Finnegan will take Wes Welker out of the game
Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that Cortland Finnegan is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL today—you know you'd love to have him in New England's secondary.
With that being said, I see Wes Welker having a hard time getting open against the very physical play of Finnegan.
Let's just say that Tom Brady is going to have to find some other options when it comes to the passing attack.
5. Rob Gronkowski will score two touchdowns
With Cortland Finnegan likely taking Wes Welker out of the game, that means another receiver is going have to step up and fill the void for Welker—and that will end up being tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski had a huge game last week against the New York Jets as he reeled in six passes for 78 yards and two scores.
I see Gronk continuing his success against the Rams, and will score yet another two touchdowns Sunday afternoon in London.
Final prediction: New England: 31 St. Louis: 24
I do see this one being a pretty close game for the Patriots—it's most definitely not going to be a cake-walk in London like it was in 2009 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 3-4 Rams will present a very tough match-up for the Patriots as they're extremely physical on defense and can get after the quarterback.
I see the Patriots jumping out to an early lead, but will continue the trend of almost collapsing in the fourth quarter and allowing the opposing quarterback to simply shred their secondary to pieces.