Rams vs. New England in the NFL’s 2012 International Series should be a very exciting game, as Tom Brady leads the NFL’s number one offense into today’s contest, but the Rams’ young aggressive defense is ranked tenth and are playing with heart, attitude and they are extremely competitive in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams) throughout the first seven weeks of the season. After a lot of film evaluation, New England just has too many weapons on offense. Sam Bradford and the Rams offensively will need to score a lot of points, grind the clock with a good running game but also take advantage of a depleted New England secondary through the air.
I attended the International Series NFL Rally on Saturday, and walked among tens of thousands of NFL fans from London and all of Europe who will be among the 80,000 fans at Wembley today. On my way into the security check points surrounding Trafalgar Square, I interviewed several people about the NFL. They were asking me what is going on in there, who is the NFL and what is the rally for? I turned off my recorder and found myself selling the NFL game and yesterday’s events to whomever would listen, when done and I was climbing off my soap box, I had collected several hundred listeners and when finished they joined me in a chant. “1, 2, 3…. NFL!” Clearly those fans outside the rally were Manchester United and Arsenal fans and had no interest in American football, but once inside I found myself in a sea of NFL jerseys representing every team, worn by toddlers to elderly that seemed very curious about the event. Then there were the crazy rabid NFL fans that were throwing rubber footballs, taking pictures and are extremely enthusiastic about this weekend’s events and truly understand the game of American football. It was heavily loaded with Patriot fans who gave Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and teammates a huge cheer when they took the stage, the Rams may be the home team on paper, the Patriots are the fan favorites among the folks in the UK.
Softli’s Picks week 8
Tampa Bay @ Minnesota = Vikings (tweeted Thursday prediction on @SoftliSTL)
New England @ St. Louis = New England (London)
Washington @ Pittsburgh = Steelers
Atlanta @ Philadelphia = Eagles
Seattle @ Detroit = Seahawks
Miami @ NYJ = Dolphins
Jacksonville @ Green Bay = Packers
Carolina @ Chicago = Bears
San Diego @ Cleveland = Chargers
Indianapolis @ Tennessee = Colts
Oakland @ Kansas City = Raiders
NYG @ Dallas = Giants
New Orleans @ Denver = Broncos
San Francisco @ Arizona = 49ers
I’m not a professional odds maker. Please, please don’t bet the farm or mortgage the house on the above information even though I’m 60-45 after Week 7 on picking games straight-up. I concentrate on NFL team rankings both offensively and defensively, injuries, statistics, schemes, 53 man roster personnel and I evaluate a lot of film.