Monday, October 6, 2008

Week 3 Preview: St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

Rams vs. Seattle GameDayThe St. Louis Rams will take on the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon at 3:05PM CST. Seattle will be without all six of thier receivers due to injury. Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Ben Obomanu, Bobby Engram and Seneca Wallace who they converted into a WR will all be on the sidelines for this one. The Seahawks picked up both Koren Robinson who has experience with this offense and Keary Colbert in a trade with the Denver Broncos this week. I have never seen a team enter a game without one single player off their roster being able to fill a position.

One of the biggest problems with the Rams is confidence, the lack of it. The media has picked on the Rams pretty good the last few days and for good reason. The Rams are last in total defense, and 31st in points allowed. Now heading into this game they are going to bench their #1 cornerback Tye Hill. So I would say lets take a look at the offense to get something positive going but we can't even do that! The Rams are last in scoring, last in total offense, and 31st in rushing offense and have not run a single play from the Red Zone yet. With Josh Brown and Donnie Jones at least we have great special teams. Not so fast the Rams are 29th in punt return average and 28th in Kickoff return average. Note to coaching staff Dante Hall should be cut immediately! To make matters even worse they are 26th in punt coverage. YIKES!!!

Aside from the stat the Rams are taking a pounding everywhere they turn. They are 31st or 32nd in almost ever Power Rankings on the planet. In addition in a poll in the St. Louis Post Dispatch 36% of the people have the Seahawks winning by 14 points or more! How can we lose by 14 or more? How can we be a 10 point underdog in Las Vegas to a team without wide receivers? In addition 92% overall pick the Seahawks to win. There is only one reason, there is no faith in Scott Linehan turning this around. The quotes below from Linehan and Al Saunders show you how desperate they are.
Linehan said “In my mind, we’re going to beat Seattle,” he said. “I’m not making any guarantees. In my mind we’re going to beat Seattle and we’re going to right this ship, OK, because we don’t have a choice. I don’t have a choice and neither does anybody else around here.”

“I think it’s a fragile group and we’ve got to stay the course,” offensive coordinator Al Saunders said. “I’m disappointed, certainly. I’m not discouraged about these guys, because I know what we can do down the road.”

I could analyze individual matchups like Patrick Kerney against Alex Barron. However this game will not be about x's and O's it will be about execution and mental edge. On Paper Bulger, Holt, Jackson, and McMichael should have the edge on Hassleback and Julius Jones. However when it comes down to execution can the Rams come through? Last week sure they lost 41-13 but did they execute. No, they did not. We can blame a lot of people but you have to execute as well. Steven Jackson shot through a huge hole and fell down on what would have been a 50+ yard TD. Dane Looker was by the Giants secondary by 10 yards and Bulger threw the ball so far away from him he could not get to it. The TD pass to Torry Holt was under thrown by at least 5 yards. That is 21 points the Rams should have had from just simple execution. Mentally the Rams are very fragile. The emotionless Scott Linehan was almost in tears at the press conferences this week. Torry Holt is calling out the O-line. Marc Bulger comes across as a scared child. Is this a team that can go into Seattle and execute? I just do not feel like they can at this point.

The Rams O-line is just frankly not playing well enough to win games in the NFL. Are they good enough to win and just not put in the best situations? This week watch Pace, Goldberg, Leckey, Incognito and Barron. Those are the only 5 guys you will need to watch. Can they execute and make a hole for Jackson and give Marc 3-4 seconds once in a while to get the ball down field. I say no. The coaching and sense of urgency never seems to make them play any better. I definitely think this is a game the Rams could win. However I am from the Show Me State and until I see something different emotionally, I don't think they can close it out. The Rams are 3-15 in their last 18 games.

Prediction:

St. Louis Rams 16 - Seattle Seahawks 20

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