The New England Patriots fall to 8-6 with a shocking 32-18 loss at the hands of the Saint Louis Rams at the Trans World Dome.
The Patriots, playing without TE Ben Coates, saw the Rams shoot out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Saint Louis scored on their first possession of the game via a 48 yard field goal by kicker Jeff Wilkins (3-0).
The Rams, with a little help from the Patriots offense, scored on their ensuing drive of the game. On second-and-nine from the Patriots 15, Drew Bledsoe was intercepted by LB Mike A. Jones. The pick set up a first-and-10 for the Rams at the New England 14. Two plays later, QB Tony Banks connected with WR Az-Zahir Hakim for a nine-yard TD score (10-0).
New England crept back into the game with a 18-to-7 run and found themselves leading 18-17 in the third quarter. Leading the charge was kicker Adam Vinatieri who connected on four field goals from 17, 37, 41 and 55 yards.
But the Patriots were given the knockout punch when Hakim executed the reverse to perfection, rushing 34 for the TD score. The two-point attempt was successful, giving the Rams a 25-18 lead.
Then, with 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Rams jumped out to a 32-18 lead (and final) when RB June Henley scored on a one-yard plunge.
Other notables: Drew Bledsoe left the game in the first quarter to have his injured index finger adjusted. He would return in the second quarter. Scott Zolak came in relief for two series. WR Terry Glenn was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with a leg injury.
Rams quarterback Tony Banks was forced to leave the game in the first quarter when he severely injured his knee. He could be out for the remainder of the season. QB Steve Bono played the rest of the game in relief