The Rams finally return to the Edward Jones Dome after 3 away games in a row and hope to find it full of Rams fans and not cross-state rival Chiefs fans. This is not a must-win game for the Rams, but with Missouri bragging rights on the line, a win would put the Rams in pole position for the NFC West title. Kansas City hasn’t played as well of late including a drubbing at the hands of San Diego last week.
Most of the Western United States will be getting the Rams v Chiefs on CBS. Some areas and stations (Like LA… sorry LA Rams fans.) have switched to other games, so check the map to see what game you are getting.
What to Watch For
- Chiefs Running Game – The Rams must stop the Chiefs running game if they are going to win this game. It is not any more obvious than that. The Rams have been vulnerable to the running game this season. Especially fast running backs that can get to the outside before the Rams linebackers can get in position to make the play.
- Matt Cassel – The Chiefs signal caller had emergency appendectomy surgery a week ago and missed the game against San Diego. No word yet on his status for the game. If Cassel does not play, that will be a huge advantage for the Rams defense because his replacement Brodie Croyle was 7 for 17 for 40 yards. Either way, the Rams will have to pay a lot of attention to Chiefs star WR Dwyane Bowe.
- Big Plays – The Rams tried to limit the big plays by forcing everything in front of them against the Saints and it worked to an extent. The Saints did not have any big plays, but they were able to get as many short and intermediate plays they wanted. The Rams will not have the luxury of sitting back against a strong Chiefs running game. They will have to stop the run first and dare whomever is at quarterback to beat them with long throws.
- Alexander, Gibson and Amendola – The Rams wide receivers are trending in opposite directions. Amendola appears to be wearing down from all the hits and opposing teams know Bradford will go to him on 3rd down so they are double-covering him. Gibson has stepped up his game and has become a great target for Bradford in the short and intermediate routes. Danario Alexander was MIA against the Saints, but the Rams did not have the protection to try him on the long routes he usually thrives on.
- Chiefs Defense – The Chiefs have a middle of the pack defense that the Rams should be able to find ways of exploiting through their typical offense. The Rams will need to use misdirection, spread running plays and multiple wide receiver sets to spread of the Chiefs defense. According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs are strong against #1 wide receivers, but weak against 2-4 WRs and RBs. Look for Sam Bradford to spread the ball around whenever possible.
A win in this game would be monstrous for the Rams divisional hopes, however a loss would not even come close to killing the Rams playoff hopes. Still, this is a game that is set up for the Rams to win at home.