By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff

Spikes Lost His Man For This TD

Alrighty then. What in the name of Dean Pees was that all about?

That was ugly. You almost hope this was a product of not taking the Rams seriously, and getting a little cocky after the press clippings of their first two performances. That can be corrected. If not, we might be seeing 36-35 scores in the regular season as well. Some of the youngsters, after looking so good in the first two games, came down to earth a bit last night, especially first round pick Devin McCourty, who seemingly hadn’t made a mistake the entire preseason, suddenly looked like an exposed rookie on the field at times. Brandon Spikes was okay in run coverage, but got beat when he had to drop into coverage, one of the few concerns that people had about him.

Things were so bad that Bill Belichick left the first team defense in the game for a whole lot longer than he wanted to, I’m sure, just to see if they could get themselves straightened out. It didn’t happen. The Rams’ second, and then third string offensive players had much the same success as the first string did. Have we mentioned yet that the first string was led by a rookie quarterback getting his first extended action of the preseason?

To make matters worse, two of the players who could be labeled bright spots last night, much-maligned defensive lineman Ron Brace and fighting-for-his-roster-spot Terrence Wheatley both had to leave the game with injuries. Both had made some decent plays last night, especially Brace, who showed good power at the line, and ended up with a sackĀ  as well.

The unit as a whole has a lot of work to do before the season opener with the pass-happy Bengals.