Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chiefs vs. Saints Game Preview



The St. Louis Rams will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a pivotal game for both teams down at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. Both teams are currently in first place in their divisions, however it appears that both teams may need to win their final three games to make the playoffs. Props to both teams for their amazing 2010 season to date. The Rams and Chiefs were a combined 5-27 in 2009 before their remarkable turnarounds in 2010.

The big question in this one is will the Chiefs QB Matt Cassel be able to play just 11 days after having an appendectomy. No NFL quarterback has ever done that but reports seem to indicate that Cassel will be active for the game. Cassel could be the difference maker. The Chiefs backup quarterback is Brodie Croyle who is 0 -10 lifetime as a starter and looked awful last week completing 7 of 17 passes for 40 yards against the San Diego Chargers.

The Rams and Chiefs are very similar on the field. Both teams will try to control the clock and move the ball with their running game. Steven Jackson topped the 1000 yard mark for the 6th straight year last week, and seemed to be running harder than I have seen him run in a while. Steven want to make it to the playoffs bad and he will be running mad against the Chiefs 15th ranked rushing defense. The Chiefs are number 1 overall in rushing behind veteran Thomas Jones and lightning fast Jamaal Charles. The Rams will need to contain both and not let Charles rip off any long runs.

Many people have criticized the Rams receiving core however the Chiefs only have one receiver and that is Dwayne Bowe who 14 TDs on the season. The Chiefs second leading receiver is Terrance Copper who only has 17 catches for 151 yards. After Bowe the Chiefs rely on their backs and tight ends to catch the ball. Bowe who only has 1 catch over the last two weeks will be the one to keep your eye on.

The Rams are going to give the Chiefs a heavy dose of Steven Jackson, but the bottom line is they are going to need to be able to pass the ball efficiently as well. The Rams who rank 25th in points scored are going to need to be able to get into the end zone. Steven Jackson only has 4 rushing TDs for the year and Sam Bradford has went two straight games without a TD pass. Bradford must bounce back and play much better than he did last week against the New Orleans Saints, in their 31-13 loss.

Both of these teams are capable of playing solid defense but there are times when they have also been sliced up. The Rams have dropped to 15 in scoring defense as their secondary has been picked apart lately. The Chiefs are 14th in scoring defense but they allowed the Chargers to own the ball last week and score 31 points. Both of these defenses rely on their offense holding onto the ball to help them out. Look for Chris Long of the Rams and Tamba Hali of the Chiefs to apply a heavy dose of pressure to the opposing quarterbacks.

In a game against two very similar teams being played in a Stadium that may have as many Chiefs fans as Rams fans this one is a tough call. I just do not see any way that Matt Cassel can play just 11 days after his appendectomy.

Prediction St. Louis Rams 20 - Kansas City Chiefs 17

By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com/

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