This Sunday 11/25/2012, the Rams take on the Arizona Cardinals. Neither team has won a game since the Rams upset the then 4-0 Cardinals in week 5 of the season. I think there’s a strong case to support a Rams win on Sunday. The Cardinals have had a terrible time with the level of play from their quarter backs. Their starting QB Kevin Kolb (who hasn’t had a good year) is out with an injury and their #2 QB John Skelton just got the boot to rookie and 6th round draft pick out of San Diego State Ryan Lindley (Lindley had solid stats in the Mountain West Conference, but his scouting report made him look pretty average.). This combined with a very below average rushing game (30th in the NFL) and a weak offensive line should give the Rams an edge in the game.
What’s the game plan for the Rams?
1 Run the ball – Run the ball a lot. Give Steven Jackson 25 or more touches. Give Daryl Richardson a lot of touches. Especially recently, the Rams greatest strength has been their running game. Plus, although the Cardinals have a very tough defense overall, they are 19th in their rushing defense. The Cardinals are 4th in passing defense picking off the 9-1 Falcons 5 times this past week. The Rams #1 WR Danny Amendola is likely to not play against the Cardinals due to a foot injury so it makes complete sense to focus on the running game. If the Rams can successfully run the ball, then carefully attempt some slot passes and go from there. The Rams were killed by turnovers against the Jets last week and that mistake must be avoided at all costs against the Cardinals.
2 Shut down Cards WRs – The Cardinals are 30th in passing offense and 28th in rushing offense. As you can imagine they have a poor offensive line. The Rams are 10th in passing defense and 15th in rushing defense. No doubt the Cards will focus their passing game at Rams CBs Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins. The Cardinals have two top receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts (ranked 30th and 43rd respectively). The Rams key defensive priority for the game is to shut these two guys down. The Rams’ defensive line should be able to get pressure on Lindley. It is a pure matter of execution. The Cardinals are getting starting RB Beanie Wells back from injury, but he has not been productive this year even before the injury.
The game will be played in Arizona which is a slight advantage for the Cards, but if the Rams can play a reasonable game: no turnovers, no brain farts by coaches or players, competent executions, and no more injuries, we really should be able to take this game. Sounds good right? However, this issue with competence and execution has reared its ugly face before. It’s not unusual for the Rams to find ways to give their opponents a win. Rams players and coaches… stay on our payroll and everything will be fine.
Rams fans are looking for their first road win and this could be it. Go Rams!!!