There has been a lot of NFL football to get to this week. We had two games on Monday in a rare doubleheader, and then a rare game on Tuesday featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens. Tuesday NFL football isn’t common, but nothing has been common about this year. I’m used to MACtion on Tuesday night, so it was a bit of a weird feeling to have an NFL game on Tuesday.
I wasn’t complaining, though I wish it was a better matchup. The Cowboys have all but given up on the season. They took a 34-17 loss in Baltimore, as they failed to keep up with Lamar Jackson. The Cowboys will be flexed out of Sunday Night Football in Week 14. That is the first time in franchise history they’ve been flexed out of the game, and 202 will be the fewest Sunday night appearances the Cowboys have had.
We’re already into Week 14, though it feels like the season just started, at least that’s the way I feel. Given the pandemic, I have to say it’s awfully impressive that the NFL has been able to pull this off, especially without a bubble. There has been some stupid players making a mess of things by not following protocols, and others that had bad luck and caught Covid-19 anyway, but the league has been able to work things out scheduling wise.
The New England Patriots and LA Rams, a rematch of Super Bowl LIII, headlines the Week 14 edition of Thursday Night Football. The Patriots are coming off a vintage performance against the LA Chargers. They made it look easy in a blowout by a score of 45-0. The defense was the real star of the game, as they bottled up rookie Justin Herbert for 209 yards and 2 interceptions. New England advanced to 6-6 with the win and are still in the midst of a tight playoff battle.
There will be no Tom Brady in this rematch, but it should be a quality matchup regardless. The Rams head into Thursday night with a record of 8-4. They’re knotted up with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The conclusion of the NFC West race should make for some good drama. The Rams are coming off a 38-28 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jared Goff connected for 351 yards and a touchdown in a steady performance in the desert. Head below for our free Patriots vs. Rams props for December 10, 2020.
— NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2020
Tyler Higbee Receptions
The Rams’ offense went silent in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, and then they followed it up with a lousy season thereafter. You could say that they looked on the hungover side after an appearance in the Super Bowl. They’ve come back with a fresh perspective in 2020, though, and Jared Goff most importantly has looked better.
Goff has passed for 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 68.4% completions. His numbers haven’t been all that impressive, like compared to what he did in 2018 for instance, but he’s been much smarter and accurate than 2019.
Goff likes to work the ball around, and he’s connected with several targets this season. In who could be seen as a bit of an x-factor, tight end Tyler Hibgee has made his presence felt in spots. Higbee isn’t an elite tight end in the NFL, but he’s a big target at 6’6” and a respectable route runner. He’s caught 32 receptions for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Higbee has been getting targets from Goff, as he has been targeted at least four times in eight games this season. Note that Higbee has had at least 3 receptions in four of his previous six and in three of the last four games. The Patriots should be able to do a good job at the corners with Stephon Gilmore leading the secondary. Expect Goff to target easier targets underneath like Higbee.
Gerald Everett Receiving Yards
From one tight end to another on the Rams. Gerald Everett isn’t really a traditional tight end in the sense that he’s a big bodied guy. He looks more like a wide receiver than anything, while Higbee certainly has the body of a tight end. The 26-year-old has quietly gone about his business like Higbee in the Rams’ offense.
He’s typically not going to put up monster numbers, but provides Goff with some nice depth. Everett has been just about as productive as Higbee in 2020. He’s recorded 34 receptions for 342 yards and 1 touchdown. Everett has been a consistent operator this season. He is usually good for around 30 yards receiving. Everett recorded a season-high of 90 yards receiving against the Washington Football Team on October 11.
Everett has recorded at least 26 yards receiving in eight of his last nine outings. After grabbing 90 yards against Washington, Everett has continued to go about his business nicely for the Rams. He’s coming off a nice performance versus the Cardinals last week, with 6 receptions for 44 yards on December 6. He should be able to come through and go OVER this prop.
James White Receiving Yards
The Patriots will be up against one of the best defenses in the NFL on the road tonight. The Rams lead the league with 198.2 yards against through the air. They’ve also been stout against the run, with 93.1 rushing yards conceded a game for third in the NFL. For an offense like the Patriots that have struggled to consistently move the ball, Thursday night could be an issue on the road. Their options at wide receiver are lacking, which isn’t a good formula for a win against the Rams.
I’m expecting the Rams to force Cam Newton to keep everything underneath, which would benefit a slasher like James White out of the backfield. White has registered 37 receptions for 267 yards this season. He’s been targeted a total of 46 times. White, who missed time because of the death of his father, has notched at least 20 yards in six outings this year. He should play a key role against the Rams tonight, as I don’t trust the Patriots’ receivers on the outside to do much.