The Rams dismantled the Redskins with a final score of 24-0. Especially surprising was the high level of play coming out of the defensive secondary. Safeties McLeod and McDonald both came away with interceptions and Barron kicked in a sack and a loss of yards tackle. Our defensive line shutdown the Skins running game and got a lot of pressure on Skins QB (McCoy and Griffin). The d-line laid claim to 4 of the Rams 7 sacks for the day. If there was a chink in the Rams’ game it would have been the performance of the O-line who allowed 4 sacks and 6 hits. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams has really elevated the play of the Rams defense. It’s time for Schottenheimer to get his act together too.
This upcoming Thursday (2 days away) the Rams take on the division leading Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome in St Louis. The stats for the Rams and Cardinals offenses for the year are surprisingly similar. They have gained more yards passing while we have gained more yards rushing (not by significant amounts). Points per game and time of possession are also amazingly equal. The Cardinals have excelled in regards to 3rd down conversions (42.9% vs the Rams 37.7%). The defensive stats are just as equitable with a slight edge going to the Rams in the category of points per game (21.9 vs 18.3). The separator would have to be the give/take (turnover) numbers. The Cardinals are tied for 5th in the NFL with a positive 9 turnover differential. The Rams are tied for 10th place with a positive 4.
I charted this turnover ratio on a week by week basis for the 13 games played by each team this season. See below:
The Rams are improving; while the Cardinals are declining. The Cardinals overall performance has been on a downturn since their week 11 game against Detroit. The Rams have been on an upswing starting at the very same time (starting with the Rams vs Broncos game). It would be pretty bold to say the Rams would be favored to beat the Cardinals, but if the trend continues that would be the truth. As always we need to be strong in the fundamentals. We need to average 4-5 yards per run, win the turnover battle, continue to play strong defense, make tackles, don’t give up big plays, protect our QB… Add to the equation that Cardinals starting QB Carson Palmer is out for the season and I’m picking the Rams to win this game. Forget about a shutout, but look for the Rams to win 24-10.