New England Patriots defeat St. Louis Rams, 23-16

FOXBOROUGH - The Patriots enjoyed the first penalty-free performance in team history (731 games) yesterday.

New England was not assessed a single accepted penalty in its 23-16 win over the Rams at Gillette Stadium. Meanwhile, St. Louis had nine penalties for 63 yards.

The Patriots were the first team since the Seahawks last December, against Baltimore, and the 50th team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to not have a penalty in a game.

Coach Bill Belichick said the pa...

FOXBOROUGH - The Patriots keep losing parts, but they haven't lost their rightful place atop the AFC East.

That's where they find themselves today after a 23-16 victory over the St. Louis Rams yesterday at Gillette Stadium. That come-from-behind win, which was sealed by Deltha O'Neal's interception of Rams quarterback Marc Bulger at the Patriots' 16-yard line with just over a minute remaining, coupled with Buffalo's loss to Miami, put New England in a tie for the divisi...

FOXBOROUGH - He's not Tom Brady, and no one is asking him to be Tom Brady.

He's Matt Cassel, and he shares one goal with his coach and his Patriots teammates. All he wants, and all they are asking, is for him to make continual improvement, to be the best 2008 NFL quarterback he can be.

They're not playing for the future. They are all about the present, and this season. Nothing else matters to them. Everyone wants to keep getting better; it's as simple as that.

"La...

FOXBOROUGH - Bill Belichick watched four Rams wide receivers trot on to the field as another of his defensive backs hobbled off of it. This, he knew, was a problem. At the moment the Patriots most needed stout pass defense - leading by a touchdown, barely more than three minutes remaining - their secondary descended closer toward depletion.

Already, in their first game without safety Rodney Harrison, the Patriots had lost both starting cornerbacks, Deltha O'Neal to a he...