When it comes to forecasting the outcome of a Rams game you might as well tape each team’s name onto the keys of a piano. Set a chicken on the keyboard and let him have at it. Whichever team the bird pecks first will be your pick. Seriously, because you never know which Rams team is going to show up. The Rams have shown us so many different faces this year it’s ridiculous. Not only has individual play been all over the board, but coaching and play calling has been pretty stupifying at times.
So who knows if the Rams will beat the Bucs? Not me… 5 considerations:
1 Rams RT guard Harvey Dahl is out for the season. Everyone’s saying this will be a big deal because he’s started the last 30 games in a row. But considering how good the Rams have been over those 30 games and that he’s not on the blind side, I think things will be fine (and the Rams have plenty of depth at this position.)
2 All of the Bucs wins have been against bad teams. They beat Carolina twice, the Raiders, the Chiefs, and the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings beat us, but they shouldn’t have. The Bucs have lost their last 4 games in a row. Individually, they have talent, but collectively they stink.
3 Bucs QB Josh Freeman threw 4 INTs against the Saints, but as bad as he was last week; he’s definitely as good as Sam Bradford for the year. Freeman is mobile and athletic and the Rams’could have a tough time containing him. What would end up being a coverage sack for some QBs, could be positive rushing yards for Freeman.
4 Bradford has been good in ‘quick pace’ game scenarios this season. Of course these scenarios are late in the game or when we’re behind and late in the game is closer than we’d like. Breaking out a no huddle offense early in the game could be beneficial for the Rams.
5 The Bucs have the number 1 rushing defense and the 32nd passing game in the NFL (talk about another confusing team). Steven Jackson has 909 yards rushing this year. Do you give him a lot of touches so he can get to 1,000 yards for the 8th year in row? Yes and no. The Rams need to focus on the passing game against the Bucs. Steven Jackson is needed to stay in the backfield and block. But you can’t play one dimensionally against any team. Jackson should get enough touches to pick up 50-60 yards (just to keep the Bucs guessing). Then after a Rams victory against the Bucs, we turn him loose against the Seahawks in the final game of the season.
So who will win this game? Who knows. The Rams should win. Will they come out motivated like they did against the 49ers or just show up and check in as we’ve seen in several other games this year. Ask the chicken. His peckin’ is as good as anyone’s guess. A focused, prepared, executing Rams team would win this game. We’ll see who shows up. Go Rams!!!