While a win won't ensure any post season berth, a loss would almost certainly put a nail in the Ram's coffin and would be dispiriting enough to deflate even the most optimistic fan's hopes for a 2013 turnaround. To get that win, the Rams need to avoid the slow starts that have plagued them so far this season.
St. Louis has been outscored 65-16 in the first half this season. They had there only first half lead in their last game against San Francisco, but that was short-lived when the Rams allowed the Niners to outscore them 14-0 in the second quarter and go to the locker room up 14-3.
Jacksonville is 0-4, and for good reason. Their offense is dead last in the NFL and their defense is 23rd. The Rams don't have much room to brag with the 30th ranked defense and an offense that ranks one spot below the Jags.
You know what the Jags are thinking: "This is our shot!" The Rams have to disabuse Jacksonville of that notion quickly. They can do that by accomplishing three things in the first half:
1. A long touchdown drive on one of their first two possessions. The Rams can send a message with a drive that covers the field. Whether it's a time-consuming 10 play drive or a quick strike to Chris Givens or Tavon Austin isn't really important. The Rams have to send the message early that they can get in the end zone against Jacksonville at will. Don't allow any confidence to develop.
2. Get to Blaine Gabbert and plant him in the Edward Jones Dome turf. Gabbert is a native St. Louisan and will be hyped for his return to Missouri. Robert Quinn, Chris Long and the rest of the Rams defense must quickly let him know this won't be a triumphant homecoming. He's an unwelcome guest. Hit him hard and often and we'll quickly see why Gabbert has won only five games in his two plus years. We'll also probably see Chad Henne. By then, the Rams should be in the driver's seat.
3. No turnovers. Want to let an inferior team think they can beat you? Turn the ball over. Turnovers inevitably either cost the offense points or give the opponent easy opportunities. No way do you want to give Gabbert a short field with a fumble or a pick, or give Jacksonville a free six points like St. Louis did with Arizona and Atlanta. Make Jacksonville traverse the entire football field to earn their points and convert when the opportunity is there for the Rams offense.
If these three things come to pass in the first half, the Rams may not have the game entirely in the bag by the time we watch the highlights of the other games, but they'll be well on their way.
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Jacksonville Jaguars not Ready to Pull the Plug on Mizzou’s Blaine Gabbert
- St. Louis Rams Keys to Victory Against San Francisco 49ers
- Escape to LA? Will St. Louis or Jacksonville Become NFL Ghost Towns?
- St. Louis Rams Key to Victory: Offensive Patience Against Dallas Cowboys Defense
- Keys to the St. Louis Rams 27-24 Victory Over the Arizona Cardinals
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/123p