Don’t look now, but the Rams have won 2 out of their last 3 and if it wasn’t for a blocked field goal at the end of regulation at Arizona, the Rams would be on a 3 game streak. And yet another late game for the Rams, despite the fact that this one is in St. Louis.
Around St. Louis, mostly to the South and Washington state and most of Oregon get the game this week. Maps here.
What to Watch For
- Mr. Bradford – Bradford will constantly be at the top of the “What to Watch For” list as he has struggled with the offense or his responsibilities at the line of scrimmage this year. He is still a young kid who is running his 3rd offense in 3 years if you count his last year at Oklahoma. We expect a lot from the kid and rightfully so, considering his draft position and his contract. Seattle is the 8th ranked rush defense according to Football Outsiders, so Sam may have to carry a lot of the offense.
- Steven Jackson – Jackson has carried the offense over the past three weeks and not coincidentally this has been the best three games of the season for the Rams. As stated above, Seattle is a good run stopping team, however, they are 31st against the running back in the pass game. Look for the Rams to get Steven Jackson involved in the pass despite his fumble after a reception last week.
- Turnovers – The Rams offense struggles when trying to move the ball the full length of the field, but have shown the ability (sometimes) to punch the ball in when given a short field by the defense. The Rams defense will still need to create turnovers to jump start the offense.
- “Beast Mode” – The Rams run defense gave a career day to 3rd string running back Chris Ogbonnaya and helped other running backs to career days. The Rams run defense ranks 31st per FO. The Rams will need to slow down Marshawn Lynch as much as possible to put the game in the hands of Tavaris Jackson.
- Home Sweet Home – The Rams are coming off two straight road games after their best game of the season in their last home game. Can they recreate the home cooking they created last time at home?
- Special Teams! – When I used to live in St. Louis and have season tickets to the Rams, there was a guy who sat a few rows back that when the special teams would come onto the field, he would yell “Special Teams!”. That’s it. Nothing else. He would also yell “The ‘B’ Word, Offense, Block!”. The last three Rams games have turned on a special teams play. In the Saints game, it was a blocked punt by the Rams. In the Cardinals game, it was a blocked field goal by the Cardinals at the end of regulation. In the Browns game it was a messed up chip shot field goal by the Browns near the end of the game. These “special” teams make the difference, especially in close games. Take a look at who wins in this phase and it should give you a clue about who wins the game.