Sunday, December 20, 2009

Houston Texans @ St. Louis Rams Matchup

Rams. The high flying Houston Texans (6-7) are coming off their best performance of the season a 34-7 victory against the Seattle Seahawks. Those are the same Seahawks that have beaten the St. Louis Rams 10 straight times and outscored the Rams 55-17 this season.

At 6-7 Houston has an outside chance of finishing 9-7 and making the playoffs. Last week in their victory both sides of the ball were explosive. The offense rolled up 365 yards by halftime behind Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Andre Johnson is arguably the best WR in the game. Through 13 games he has 81 receptions for 1237 yards and 8 TDs. Schaub could be the best second tier QB in the NFL. He is posting great numbers this year, 324 of 473 for 3814 yards a 68.5 completion percentage and a QB rating of 98.2. On the ground the trio of Steve Slaton, Ryan Moats and Chris Brown have been disappointing but have combined for 10 rushing TDs. Slaton is also dangerous on of the backfield with 44 receptions. Look for the Texans to match him up against the slow Rams outside linebackers.

On defense the Texans are middle of the pack but are coming off their best game of the season last week against Seattle. Houston had an amazing 15 tackles for loss in their game last week. Look for more of the same this week as Mario Williams and company will try to break through the Rams patchwork offensive line to attack Steven Jackson and Keith Null. As great as we think James Laurinaitis has played with his 104 tackles, don't overlook the Texans first round draft choice Brian Cushing who has 112 tackles and 2.5 sacks. I thought last year Cushing could be the best pro of all of the USC linebackers that came out. With the Rams starting O-line of Barron, Greco, Brown, Setterstrom and Goldberg look for the Texans front 7 to manhandle the Rams. As if you want to see another piece of the puzzle the Rams are missing check out Bernard Pollard today. Pollard is the Texans Strong Safety who they picked up after the Chiefs threw him away. Pollard is the kind of hammer the Rams need. If Null hangs out Gibson or Avery today look for Pollard to lay a missile shot on them.

What can you say about the St. Louis Rams offense? The Rams are last in scoring and lately have had trouble getting to 200 yards of offense in a game. With injuries to the O-line, sickness among many of their starters, and Keith Null possibly starting don't look for things to get any better today. If Steven Jackson can not go because of his back injury and sickness the Rams will turn to Gado and Darby. If that happens the Rams may easily be shutout today. Even with Jackson in the game the Rams have score 10 or less points in seven of their thirteen games. On defense today I have no idea what the Rams can do. The front four is going to have to create a lot of pressure on Schaub or this one will be over early. At Free Safety the Rams are starting David Roach and at Right Cornerback Quincy Butler. The Rams do not move Ron Bartell around so Andre Johnson will be able to freely move to create the matchups they are looking for. I am sure Johnson is not afraid of the Bartell matchup but you have to think they will test and burn Quincy Butler all day. The Rams are several pieces short of having a decent defense and once you add the injury issue to that they are even worse. Only the Detroit Lions have allowed more points than the Rams this year.

Overall it is a good day to go see a team that the Rams rarely play. In addition you can see some great players like Johnson, Schaub, Williams, and Cushing. I plan the spend the day in the Bud Light Party Zone wondering why the Rams have not put pieces like this together? Dez Bryant and Colt McCoy, anyone?

Prediction Houston Texans 34 - St. Louis Rams 3

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home