The calendar has turned to December and the New England Patriots are playing their best football all year. The Patriots lead the Los Angeles Rams ____ at halftime.
The Patriots opened up the day running the ball. A lot. LeGarrette Blount picked up 9 yards on the first play. James White picked up 9 yards on the second play. It was that type of day.
The Rams forced a 4th and 1 on the 43 yard line, but the Patriots opted to go for it instead of punt the ball and Blount hit the edge and ran all the way into the end zone.
4th-and-1: @LG_Blount goes for 43 yards and the touchdown! #LAvsNE https://t.co/Abn5MABsHK— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 4, 2016
The Rams, for their part, couldn’t get anything going on offense. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff was making plays, too, but his receivers were dropping the ball and sometimes even tipping it to Patriots defenders. Here’s a summary of the Rams drives:
Drive 1: 3 plays, -1 yards, punt
Drive 2: 3 plays, 8 yards, punt
Drive 3: 5 plays, 14 yards, interception
Drive 4: 3 plays, 0 yards, punt
Drive 5: 3 plays, 5 yards, punt
The Patriots defense couldn’t have played a better first half.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler recorded an interception on a ricocheted pass, setting up the Patriots on the Rams 30 yard line. Dion Lewis picked up the first 16 yards, before quarterback Tom Brady found wide receiver Chris Hogan on a gorgeous back shoulder touchdown pass.
The Patriots drove down the field on their final drive of the half, but a really great defensive play by Rams safety T.J. McDonald prevented Brady from connecting with Martellus Bennett in the end zone and the Patriots had to settle for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
If there were one criticism of the Patriots it’s that the offense has been terrible on screen plays, setting up a lot of long distance situations. The Patriots have been balanced, with 117 rushing yards and 113 passing yards.
The Rams offense generated 25 yards during the entire first half. They were 0 for 5 on third down. The Patriots defense has been dominant.
The Rams get the ball after the half and Goff will have to throw the ball to catch up.