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Rams vs Bucs – Game Preview

So I read today the Rams have not been ‘mathematically’ eliminated.  It’s fair to say a lot of strange things would have to happen and the Rams would have to win out.  So on the outside chance that every other team (other than the Rams) fall apart, we could still have an interesting game Sunday.  To get the conversation going let’s look at the top level stats for both teams:

  Rams Bucs
Total Offense 22 13
Passing Offense 20 12
Rushing Offense 17 14
Total Defense 9 30
Passing Defense 9 32
Rushing Defense 16 1

I can’t believe I am about to say this, but the Rams need to do a lot of passing to win this game.  Hmmm, the Bucs are dead last in the NFL in their passing defense and first in rushing defense.  Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.  The offense needs to keep Steven Jackson in the backfield all day long.  Jackson should do a lot of pass blocking (which he is very good at) and then you can also use him for the occasional pass option.  Daryl Richardson, who is not a great blocker, should not see a lot of playing time (unfortunately, the obvious seems to elude Rams coaching at times).  I hope and pray WR Danny Amendola is 100% healthy on Sunday because we need him to have a huge game.

Here are some 1st half vs 2nd half stats I found on the St Louis Post-Dispatch that are revealing:

(numbers are over the Rams last four games)

1st Half

• Outscored 60-21.

• Outgained 732 yards to 515.

• 16 percent third-down conversion rate on offense.

• Committed four turnovers (and minus-2 in takeaway/giveaway differential)
2nd Half

• Outscored the opposition 63-18.

• Outgained the opposition 862 yards to 585.

• 37.5 percent third-down conversion rate on offense.

• Committed zero turnovers (and plus-5 in takeaway/giveaway differential).

 (From Jim Thomas)

We went 3-1 in those last four games.  Pretty good, but it’s definitely living dangerously (as we found out last week against the Vikings).  So the game plan against the Bucs should go some thing like :

1) Get it going early.  Don’t think of productivity as a life saver; use it as a weapon

2) Protect Bradford and pass the ball.  Pass it short, pass it long, and by all means don’t be predictable

3) Don’t turn the ball over.  How many times does it have to be said.  Bradford’s 2 turnovers last week cost the Rams 10 points in a game decided by 14.  Had we scored on one of those drives instead of turning the ball over, we’d be having a different conversation about this Bucs game.

You know the rest… play good defense, execute, and don’t be stupid.  Go Rams!!!

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