The Rams will head to New Orleans to face off with the defending champs in a rematch of one of the Rams best games in their woeful 1-15 season last year. The Rams took the Saints down to the wire in a tightly fought match. The Rams will hope to stay close again this year and come out with a win in the 4th quarter this time.
The Mississippi river region from North Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico all get the Rams game, plus parts of Ohio, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Way to go FOX broadcasters in Buffalo and Pittsburgh!
What to Watch For
- Saints Receivers – Will the Rams have enough healthy corners to cover the plethora of Saints receiving options? The Rams will not have the luxury of dealing with such an inaccurate QB as Derek Anderson this week as they get trigger-man extraordinaire, Drew Brees.
- Rams Offensive Line – The Rams offensive line played better against a fairly strong 3-4 defense in Arizona and a meager crowd as well. But, the Superdome will be rocking and the Rams offensive line will have to be on their best behavior to keep Sam Bradford clean.
- Big Plays – The Rams have been soft in the secondary and have given up a few big plays, but last season against the Saints, they were able to keep the Saints offense in front of them. By slowing down the Saints offense, they were able to successfully stay in the game. Look for the Rams to force the Saints to play small ball again and limit the big play abilities of their wide receivers and Mr. Reggie Bush.
- Alexander, Gibson and Amendola – The Rams WRs are starting to define themselves and Alexander is the speed component who can out-jump corners. Gibson is the solid intermediate route runner. Amendola is the underneath speedy 3rd down slot receiver. The more they play, the better each player gets. We are seeing the Rams young WR corps grow and find their roles right before our eyes.
- Saints Defense – The Saints defense is soft against the run, but built to get timely turnovers, not unlike the Rams defense. The Rams will have to get their offensive line moving the Saints defense backward early to get Steven Jackson 1 on 1 with smaller secondary players. Early running success is key to the Rams pulling the upset in this game.
I’m not trying to adjust expectations, but this is a game the Rams are expected to lose and still compete for the division. A loss does not kill the Rams hope, but a win here would push the Rams into the NFC West drivers seat once and for all.