When the Patriots traveled to Los Angeles last week, they owned a 5-6 record -- but if they can win their second game in five days at SoFi Stadium, they'll come back to Foxboro above .500 for the first time since September.
Winners of four of their last five games, New England is coming off a 45-0 drubbing of the Chargers, but their task will be much tougher Thursday night against the NFC West-leading Rams.
How tough? Though the 8-4 Rams are middle of the pack in scoring, they own the third-ranked offense in football, and they're even better on defense, where Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey lead the way.
Los Angeles is second in total defense (291.3 yards per game), first in pass defense (198.3 yards per game), third in rush defense (93.1 yards per game), second in opposing QB rating (78.6), and fifth in scoring defense (20.3 points per game).
That's an uphill climb for a Patriots offense that has only managed 195 passing yards over its last two games, as Cam Newton has set career-lows for passing yardage in two straight games: 84 yards against the Cardinals and 69 yards against the Chargers.
With just four weeks left in the regular season, the game is critical to the Patriots' thin playoff hopes, as they trail both the Dolphins and Colts by two games in the race for the final Wild Card spots in the AFC. New England also needs to leapfrog the Ravens and Raiders, both of which own 7-5 records.
The game is also important to Sean McVay and the Rams, who currently sit in first place in the NFC West thanks to a tiebreaker over the Seattle Seahawks.
Here's how and when to watch Patriots (6-6) vs. Rams (8-4) in Week 14.
When: Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8:20 p.m. ET
TV channel: FOX, NFL Network