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St. Louis Rams face 'perfect' opponent
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The New England Patriots committed 22 penalties in their first six games this season. The Pats' total still is 22 ó a league low ó after they pitched a perfect game Sunday in turning aside the St. Louis Rams 23-16 in Foxborough, Mass.
That's right: New England was assessed zero penalty yards. "Never ever, ever, ever played a perfect team before," Rams guard Richie Incognito quipped. "That's all I am going to say on that one."
The one penalty that was called against the Pats ó offensive holding in the fourth quarter ó was declined by the Rams because quarterback Matt Cassel was sacked for an 8-yard loss on the play.
The Rams were flagged 12 times (three were declined) and set back 63 yards. "We did commit some penalties," coach Jim Haslett conceded Monday after watching the game tape. "I thought there should have been some calls on the other side."
Haslett noted three instances in which he felt New England should've been hit with a personal foul: a facemask on quarterback Marc Bulger, a late hit on Bulger and an out-of-bounds hit on cornerback Fakhir Brown after an interception.
Haslett also maintained that the Rams got a bad placement ó at the Pats' 48-yard line ó on a punt that Donnie Jones shanked out of bounds midway through the fourth quarter. New England tied the score 16-16 six plays later with a field goal.
"I thought we should've had at least another 10 yards," Haslett said.
The Rams will send tapes to the league office, citing plays in which they think calls were missed. "We've got a few today," Haslett said, smiling. "It doesn't help. It just lets them know you know."
Still, Haslett emphasized that calls made, or not made, in the heat of the game can be seen in more ways than one. "They're all judgmental calls," he said. "Your eyes or my eyes might see two different things. They're subjective. That's kind of how that works."
A reinjured right hamstring by defensive end Leonard Little was the Rams' only significant injury Sunday. Little, who missed two games in September after pulling his hamstrung, went out early vs. the Pats.
"We'll see how he goes in practice this week," Haslett said. "He seems upbeat, and he worked rehab pretty good today."
Running back Steven Jackson (thigh) "should be ready to go this week," Haslett said. The availability of defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle) for Sunday's game against NFC West-leading Arizona is questionable, Haslett said.
Haslett also reported that tight end Joe Klopfenstein has a torn ligament in his wrist and will be fitted with a cast or a brace. Cornerback Tye Hill (knee) will return to practice this week, and wideout Drew Bennett (foot) will start running for the first time since he was hurt in the season opener.
Those placing the lion's share of the blame for the loss on Bulger are off the mark, Haslett insisted. "I thought Marc played OK," Haslett said. "He didn't have a lot of time, and it's hard to step up (in the pocket) sometimes. He's got a young group of receivers out there, and they're kind of learning each other."
Bulger, sacked four times and pressured often, threw for a season-high 301 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery.
But Bulger struggled down the stretch, connecting on only six of 16 passes in the final period. He was intercepted with 1:08 to go, ending the Rams' final threat.
Nickel back Jason Craft collected a team-high nine tackles, according to the coaches' film review. ... With two sacks, rookie defensive end Chris Long boosted his season total to four. Little is the team leader, with 4 1/2.
Re: St. Louis Rams face 'perfect' opponent
Gotta wonder...is it time for a conspiracy theory?
Maybe the NFL front office pulled the refs asside and told them to hold the flags on the Pats.
Now why would the NFL do that? Well, the AFC, is a money maker in terms of interest and drama. If the Titans who are 7-0, and none are even close, perhaps with the exception of Buffalo the rest are struggling to maintain .500
Possible, isn't it? The chances are about the same as a perfect game. In 2 years where I played on 2 state championship teams with perfect winning record, Never in 2 years did we not get penalized.
I really don't think there is a conspiracy, but I certainly believer there was gross incompentence
Re: St. Louis Rams face 'perfect' opponent
They see what they wanted to..
They cannot justify the ratio of penalties the Rams got over the Pats...
I know you could call a penalty pretty much on every play to be fair, but common sense absolutely suggests that IF the Rams committed 12 flagged penalties, then the Pats would have committed at LEAST 6 flags themselves..
They really need to start employing young athletic guys as referees, as opposed to old guys, whose eyesight, fitness levels and grasp of common sense are sub-par..
Why does an NFL ref need to be an older guy anyways??
Hate the Pats more than the whiners... Hate! Hate! Hate!
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