Kevin Cadle believes the Wembley clash between the Rams and the Patriots will not be one-sided.
Last Updated: 25/10/12 7:04pm
Sky Sports will be live from Wembley on Sunday for the NFL's annual regular season game in London.
The contest between the New England Patriots and St Louis Rams might look a foregone conclusion on paper, but our man Kevin Cadle is expecting a competitive clash.
New England Patriots (4-3) v St Louis Rams (3-4), Sun 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2HD
I think the Wembley games have been a great benefit to NFL fans in the UK. Allowing the people to see what it looks like up close and personal has only enhanced the league's popularity, even if it is with the people who were already NFL fans. Put it this way, the games have not decreased the popularity of the NFL here.
The $1 million question is how a second game pans out at Wembley next year. The reason they are doing it is to see where Europe is at, because people come in from so many different countries as well.
They want to see where the game is internationally on this side of the planet. We've shown that we can do it once and sell the stadium out, the question is can it be done twice? That's going to be what the second game is all about. The games are a month apart and feature four different teams, which will be a help, so we'll see how it turns out.
When it comes down to it the Wembley game is a game that the two teams have got to win, it's a regular season game, it counts on their schedule and it's a game that they have to win.
The NFL has a very condensed season, so this is not a trip for a holiday where you just come and enjoy yourself. This is a business trip. The coaches are taking this as business because you only get so many games in the season and this is one of those games.
This is a very good match-up. St Louis is one of those teams which could just as well be 5-2 than 3-4 - there are a couple of games that they've blown. It is a young team who are coming off of a losing tradition and are trying to establish a winning tradition. That takes a little bit of time.
There are a couple of games that they should have won but they lost because that losing tradition is just not out of their system yet. But I think it is a very good match-up. New England is up and down, they are not the force they were in the past. I think the Rams will give them a good battle, if not win the football game.
There is no question the Patriots have the edge on paper because they have the best player in the game in Tom Brady. That automatically gives them the edge, but the Rams are competitive. They faced Aaron Rodgers last week - each week they face a quality quarterback. It's something that they are used to and have seen before.
The Rams' defence is somewhere where you see a constant improvement with that ball club, it's offensively where things are letting this team down right now. They just don't have the offensive talent but they have been competitive in every game and as long as they stay competitive they've got a chance to win coming into Sunday.
One of the big reasons the Rams have improved is because of the coach - in Jeff Fisher they have a much better coach than they had last season. A different coach brings a different attitude and I think Fisher is starting to get the kind of players that are his players, although he is not going to have all of them after one year.
He went and got cornerback Cortland Finnegan, a guy that played for him in the past, and Cortland brings a different attitude and explanation of what Fisher is all about to the young players on the defensive side of the ball.
Losing Danny Amendola was a big, big loss for them on the offensive side of the ball. They've got some guys who have come in and got better but nobody has been able to step up and fill that void at receiver.
As far as Sam Bradford goes - sometimes you can only be as good as the people around you. They really have not had a lot of things to offer him and again he is in that same kind of quagmire that Alex Smith was in at the 49ers with offensive co-ordinators. When they finally figured someone out somebody else comes in with a whole different thing. I think he is trying to find a comfort level.
But I think for what is being asked and what they have, the Rams don't have a problem with the quarterback. They need to find the other pieces to go around the quarterback.
The Patriots are only 4-3 but they are not any different to recent seasons, it's just in previous seasons they have been the lucky ones as opposed to the unlucky ones. Defensively they have been the same, if not worse, than the last three or four years. Now teams are just taking advantage of that when they didn't before.
I don't think it's a completely different Patriots team I just think teams are taking advantage of what the Patriots are giving them. Offensively they are the same, and all in all this no different than any other Patriots team we've seen in the past. It's just their record is not indicative of it.
Kev's Call... New England has been in nail-biters throughout the season and found a way to survive and St Louis has also been in some very close games but they haven't been able to come out on the right side. I think we'll have another close game and New England, who know how to survive, will survive it.