Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rams vs. Saints Game Preview

The St. Louis Rams will take on the New Orleans Saints today with an opportunity to make a big statement. The Rams are one of the biggest surprises this year at 6-6 and in first place in the NFC West. The Rams have played very consistent football but they are still being questioned as a playoff contender. Can the St. Louis Rams beat a team like the New Orleans Saints? It really is not the Rams fault but they do not have any wins against teams that currently have a winning record. The Rams signature win was a 20-17 stunner over the San Diego Chargers. However the Chargers now have 6 losses and were beat down by the Oakland Raiders last week.

I give Steve Spagnuolo props for keeping the Rams in every game. I still am not quite sure how the Rams are doing this with the lack of depth that they had heading into the season. The amount of confidence Sam Bradford has given this team is amazing. Bradford is playing very well right now. Over the past 7 games Bradford has 11 TD passes and only 2 interceptions. The Rams have taken very good care of the ball and controlled the clock during most of their games which is helping the defense out as well.

The Saints enter this game as hot and healthy as they have been all year. The Saints are virtually injury free. The Saints are coming into this game on a 5 game winning streak and have a 9-3 record overall and are in hot pursuit of the NFC South leading Atlanta Falcons. The Saints have averaged over 30 points during their winning streak and will pose big problems with the Rams depleted secondary. With Ron Bartell, Justin King, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Craig Dahl & Jerome Murphy all banged up look for Brees and the Saints to attack the Rams through the air. Drew Brees who was near flawless last season has thrown 16 interceptions already this year and has thrown at least one pic in eight straight Games.

On defense the Saints sum is better than their individual parts. Both Dallas and Cincinnati moved up and down the field the last couple of weeks against the Saints. The Saints thrive on turnovers and control the play. The loud crowd in the Superdome will look to disrupt the Rams and Sam Bradford. Watch for tackling machine Jonathan Vilma to keep an eye out for Steven Jackson.

The St. Louis Rams will look to stay the course on offense against the Saints. The Rams will look to control the ball with Steven Jackson and convert 3rd downs with the safe passing of Sam Bradford. The Rams beat the Saints in 2007 and last year almost beat them at the Edward Jones Dome so I do not believe the Rams will be intimidated by the World Champions. To beat the Saints you will have to score and I believe that is the biggest issue for the Rams against the Saints. The Rams are 25th in scoring and have only scored over 20 points twice this year.

This game will come down to converting on 3rd down and controlling the ball and clock. The Rams will need to pound Steven Jackson early and often into the Saints defense. Sam Bradford will need to complete some timely passes and put some points up on the board by making plays not just the safe ones. On defense the Chris Long and the Rams defense will need to get after Drew Brees and pressure him all day long. The Rams must force turnovers to stay in this one.

Overall the St. Louis Rams just do not have the horses to knock out the champs. The injuries to the Rams secondary are really going to hurt them in this one. The Saints are winning but at times winning ugly. The Saints have 5 wins of 5 points or less. The Rams are familiar with the Saints and play well against them and I expect more of the same today. If the Rams can get a couple extra turnovers we may be in for a surprise.

Prediction New Orleans Saints 30 - St. Louis Rams 20

By Stlvinnie -

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