Week 9 Preview – Rams v Cardinals

The Rams are coming off their best performance and their first win of the season and now get to play their weakest opponent of the season so far in the person of the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals.  The Rams have to be thinking about their 2nd win this week.

TV

You will only see the Rams on TV if you are in the vicinity of St. Louis or in most of Arizona.  Needless to say, everyone else would rather watch something else.  Maps here.

What to Watch For

  • No Sam? – Bradford is looking less than 50/50 to play this week’s game.  AJ Feeley played acceptable football last week despite missing a wide open Brandon Lloyd deep on two occasions in the 1st quarter.  Feeley will be facing an even easier secondary in Arizona.
  • Brandon Lloyd – Speaking of Lloyd, he was wide open on two deep plays early on in which Feeley missed him.  That set the tone for the Rams offense stretching the field.  He dropped a slant that could have gone for a touchdown to ice the game late in the game.  However, he made up for it with an acrobatic horizontal catch on a 3rd down to help the Rams run out the clock.  He is the best receiver the Rams have had since Torry Holt.  Will at Rams Herd breaks down another 4th down play where Lloyd was key even though he knew he wasn’t getting the ball.
  • Even – The Rams have been significant underdogs their first 7 games.  This is the first game that is seen as a even match-up for the Rams.  How will the Rams respond to a team that has been playing football at a lower level?
  • The Defense – The Rams defense set the tone early with sacks, blocked punt (special teams but it was R. Quinn that got the block) and an interception.  They helped the Rams offense get out to an early lead.  Then with the lead, the Rams defense could tee off with four rushers that were able to get to the passer.  The Arizona offensive line is softer than the Saints offensive line.  They should be able to tee off if the Rams get ahead early.
  • AJ Feeley – Two weeks ago I said “Am I the only one who is comfortable with AJ Feeley’s ability to “manage” the Rams offense on Sunday?”.  Two weeks ago, I was.  Last week, Feeley did what he had to do with a huge hand from the Rams offensive line and Steven Jackson carrying the load.  A lead helps everyone, including the backup QB.
  • Will The Real Rams Please Stand Up? – The Rams were straight embarrassed over their first 6 games.  They were a laughingstock.  They were within 2 teams of last in every category.  But, against the Saints, a different Rams team showed up.  They played with high energy, determination and focus.  Rams fans are hoping that this is the new Rams team.  We will see this week if that inspiration was a 1 game phenomenon or if the Rams can keep the winning momentum going.
  • Helter Skelton? – The Rams are not the only team facing a QB injury.  The Cardinals could be without Kevin Kolb and instead start John Skelton.  The Rams got a taste of Skelton last year in their match-up and were able to harass him into making a lot of mistakes.  They should be able to do the same again this year.

Go Rams!


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