Final

Rams 16

(2-5, 1-3 away)

Patriots 23

(5-2, 3-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 26, 2008

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
STL 3 7 3 316
NE 7 6 0 1023

Top Performers

Passing: M. Bulger (STL) - 304 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: A. Pittman (STL) - 19 CAR, 83 YDS

Receiving: D. Avery (STL) - 6 REC, 163 YDS, 1 TD

Patriots come from behind to sink Rams, win second straight

Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Short-handed but sure-handed, the New England Patriots grabbed another win.

Kevin Faulk grasped a 15-yard touchdown pass just inbounds with 3:13 left -- holding onto the ball despite being hit by St. Louis linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa -- and the Patriots had their go-ahead touchdown with 3:13 left.

Fast Facts

• The Patriots won their 12th straight home game against the NFC, tying the Jaguars for the longest active home win streak against interconference opponents.

• Randy Moss had seven receptions for 102 yards; his first catch of the day enabled him to become the 20th player in NFL history with 800 career receptions. Moss hits the milestone in his 161st career game (fifth fastest in NFL history).

• Wes Welker, who also had seven catches, became only the fourth player in NFL history with at least six catches in each of his team's first seven games of a season.

-- ESPN research

Deltha O'Neal pulled in another ball on a juggling interception with 1:08 remaining and the Patriots rallied for a 23-16 win Sunday.

Inconsistent most of the day without three sidelined running backs, the Patriots (5-2) held on when it mattered most, winning a tight game six days after routing Denver 41-7. The Rams (2-5) played without injured runner Steven Jackson and lost for the first time since Jim Haslett succeeded the fired Scott Linehan after an 0-4 start.

"We're behind in the fourth quarter and it was up to us to come back in the face of a little adversity," quarterback Matt Cassel said. "There's going to be, I'm sure, a lot of [tight games] down the road."

And, barring still another injury to a depleted backfield, Faulk will be there to help.

In his 10th season, all with the Patriots, Faulk has come through in many roles -- runner, receiver, returner and old reliable.

"It seems like you can always count on Kevin, no matter what phase of the game it's in," coach Bill Belichick said. "Whatever he can do to help us win, he'd do -- mop the floors, he'd mop them."

The Patriots' best pass-catching running back held onto Cassel's TD pass on the left edge of the end zone. Two receptions by Randy Moss gained 26 yards and set up the winning touchdown.

"That's something I learned from Randy," Faulk said, "not sticking your hands out early, letting the ball come to you, right in the breadbasket."

Faulk shouldered a bigger running load than usual with Laurence Maroney out for the season and the top two backups in the ground game, Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan, sidelined. But Faulk did what he does best -- catch the ball -- just in time.

"He is going to make catches where most people wouldn't even touch the ball," fullback Heath Evans said.

Until then, St. Louis' Josh Brown and New England's Stephen Gostkowski each kicked three field goals. BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 2-yard run on the Patriots' first possession had given them a 7-3 lead. Then the Rams went ahead 10-7 on a 69-yard pass play from Marc Bulger to Donnie Avery.

"The numbers don't count if you can't get the win," said Avery, a rookie who also had receptions of 35 and 44 yards.

The 69-yarder was the longest pass play of Bulger's career, 2 yards more than his hookup with Torry Holt on Oct. 15, 2006, against Seattle.

St. Louis New England

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Watch highlights from the St. Louis vs. New England game.

"Four weeks ago, we would have looked at this game as a win" because it was close, Bulger said, "but we're disappointed."

The Rams couldn't overcome the absence of Jackson, their leading rusher and receiver who missed the game with a strained right thigh muscle. And defensive end Leonard Little left in the first half with a hamstring injury.

"They had excellent field position all day and we didn't," Haslett said.

Faulk led the Patriots with 60 yards on 13 carries and added four receptions for 47 yards. Cassel was 21-for-33 for a career-high 267 yards as the replacement for Tom Brady.

The winning drive began at the Patriots 47 after a punt. Cassel was sacked for an 8-yard loss by rookie Chris Long on the first play. But then he connected with Moss for gains of 23 and 3 yards before a 7-yard run by Faulk gave the Patriots a first down at the Rams 28.

Cassel threw an 8-yard completion to Moss and Faulk ran 5 yards before Cassel lofted the winning throw into Faulk's hands.

"We knew we had to play perfect and we didn't play perfect," Tinoisamoa said. "Cassel made a great throw. Faulk made a great catch."

Game notes


Moss had seven catches for 102 yards, his 58th game with at least 100. Marvin Harrison is second in NFL history with 59. ... The Rams played for the first time in Gillette Stadium, which opened in 2002. The Patriots are 24-4 against first-time visitors there. ... Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
STL
NE
1st Downs1623
Passing 1st downs
1115
Rushing 1st downs
58
1st downs from penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
5-166-12
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays6465
Total Yards361348
Yards per play5.65.4
Total Drives1212
Passing271250
Comp-Att
18-3421-33
Yards per pass
7.16.9
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-333-17
Rushing9098
Rushing Attempts
2629
Yards per rush
3.53.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-22-4
Penalties9-630-0
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
12
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:2530:35

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger18/343048.9114-33
NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cassel21/332678.1123-17

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pittman19834.4018
Minor482.004
NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Faulk13604.6014
Cassel7223.1011

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Avery616327.2169
Hall44711.8019
NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Moss710214.6030
Welker77911.3020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLNE
stlFG8:53Josh Brown 20 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 66 yds, 6:11
30
neTD1:50BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 2 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 73 yds, 7:06
37
SECOND QUARTERSTLNE
stlTD14:24Donnie Avery, 69 yd pass from Marc Bulger (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 88 yds, 2:29
107
neFG1:53Stephen Gostkowski 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 68 yds, 5:15
1010
neFG0:01Stephen Gostkowski 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 37 yds, 0:19
1013
THIRD QUARTERSTLNE
stlFG8:08Josh Brown 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 17 yds, 3:23
1313
FOURTH QUARTERSTLNE
stlFG12:28Josh Brown 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 57 yds, 3:55
1613
neFG8:29Stephen Gostkowski 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 28 yds, 2:13
1616
neTD3:19Kevin Faulk, 15 yd pass from Matt Cassel (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 53 yds, 3:44
1623