[New England at St. Louis, 4:15]
TV: WUSA-9, WJZ-13
New England's record vs. NFC teams over the last 16 games under Coach Bill Belichick.
St. Louis's record vs. AFC teams under Coach Mike Martz. The Patriots and Rams meet for the first time since Super Bowl XXXVI, when New England won on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. However, New England was much healthier that time around, and injuries may be starting to wear down the defending champs.
First, and perhaps most importantly against the pass-infatuated Rams, the Patriots' secondary is in shambles. Starting cornerbacks Ty Law (broken left foot) and Tyrone Poole (still recovering from knee surgery) are out, meaning New England will start second-year pro Asante Samuel and rookie Randall Gay at the corners. Gay was beaten by the Steelers' Plaxico Burress last week on a 47-yard touchdown catch.
And that's just the defense. On offense, running back Corey Dillon may miss his second straight game with a thigh injury. And David Givens, the team's leading wide receiver and the player who scored the Patriots' only touchdowns last week, is questionable with a knee injury.