Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/9/12
The most intriguing home game on the slate for the Rams this season jumps off the page for a laundry list of reasons. They already will have had a tough first-half schedule leading up to this contest, facing Detroit, Chicago, and Green Bay, along with a couple divisional games against the Cardinals and Seahawks.

After all of that, they will square off with the New England Patriots.

With a much more manageable schedule in the second half of the season, this home contest could become a statement game for a developing Rams team. If they are keeping pace at around a 3-4 record, a win could spark a run at a possible wild card spot.

What adds to the uncertainty of the home field advantage is that the St. Louis Rams are hosting the game in London.

Playing on the pitch in Wembley Stadium, the Rams are going up against a team usually devoid of distractions. If anyone can keep the outside world out of the inside of the locker room, it is Bill Belichick.

On the other hand, many distractions are caused by a disruption of routine. Football teams plan details down to the millisecond in order to provide order, routine, and a focus on preparing for the upcoming week. With an excruciatingly long flight, jet lag, an unfamiliar setting and culture, and different practice facilities, disruptions will abound.

Rams' owner Stan Kroenke is a chronic sports franchise owner, with forays into hockey, basketball, and, more relevantly, Premier League soccer. His Arsenal club is conveniently based in London, with their home, Emirates Stadium, just 11 miles away from Wembley Stadium.

Arsenal also owns a dedicated practice facility on the outskirts of London, far enough away to not be distracted by the tourist options that the city offers. Kroenke and Fisher are probably already making preparations to keep the Rams routine as intact as possible.

If nothing else, London fans always show extra enthusiasm for kickers, so we get to experience the unappreciated become stars for a game. For all the soccer and rugby enthusiasts on hand, they will cheer on Stephen Gostowski, one of the best in football, and Rams’ rookie Greg Zuerlein, who has impressed so far in camp.

And while the Rams averaged a home crowd of 56,000 in 2011, Zuerlein will show off his howitzer of a leg off to a much larger, in addition to appreciative, crowd in London. Last year’s attendance to see the Buccaneers and Bears was over 76,000.

While Belichick is a master in preparation, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is an old pro, himself. By having the logistical advantage, will the Rams be able to enter the contest more prepared and less distracted? And will that overcome the talent gap that the two face?

The game will be a good barometer stick of how the Rams measure up to the league’s elite in terms of talent and preparation at their current state. Just do not count on Belichick and the Patriots showing up with anything less than their A-game.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker