Friday, December 23, 2011

Rams vs. Steelers Game Preview



The St. Louis Rams have played in some pretty boring football games this year and we may be treated to another on Christmas Eve. The St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers will both be playing their backup quarterbacks in Week 16. Ben Roethlisberger will sit out and turn the reigns over to 37 year old Charlie Batch, while the Rams will once again start Kellen Clemens. Roethlisberger is a beast and rarely will come out of any contest so the Steelers must believe they can handle the Rams with their defense and a strong rushing attack.

The Steelers are probably right as the Rams are last in the league in scoring and will be down yet another receiver as Austin Pettis has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Rams have scored ten or less in six of their games and will face the #1 ranked Steelers at Heinz Field. The Rams are averaging 11.9 points per game and have a -180 point differential.

The Steelers who still have an outside chance of winning the AFC North or even the #1 Seed in the AFC must have this one. The Steelers were embarrassed Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers losing 20-3 and Mike Tomlin will be out for blood in this one. Look for the Steelers to attack deep with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown against Josh Gordy and Rod Hood. Wallace and Brown are lightning fast and should be able to get deep against the Rams very depleted secondary. On the ground the Steelers will feature Rashard Mendenhall against the Rams 32nd ranked rushing defense. Mendenhall has had trouble finding space behind the Steelers offensive line this year so this may be the matchup he has been looking for.

For the Rams the most exciting part of this game may be watching for Steven Jackson to gain 34 yards which will put him over the 1000 yard mark for the 7th straight season. Jackson who has given his all throughout the season just can't seem to get the crunch time yards behind the poor blocking of the Rams offensive line. To beat the Steelers Clemens will need to be able to move the ball through the air. With Austin Pettis out the Rams will go with Brandon Lloyd and Brandon Gibson at wideout. Hopefully Danario Alexander will also see some playing time. To win this one the Rams will have to force Charlie Batch into a bunch of mistakes.

I am not even going to try and sugarcoat this one. Dick LeBeau, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and others will be out to kill the Rams on Saturday. The Rams offensive line and Kellen Clemens will be under siege all day long. The Rams have no weapons or plays to threaten this defense at all.

Prediction Pittsburgh Steelers 27 - St. Louis Rams 0

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

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