As the Rams get ready for this weekend’s showdown in Seattle, we here at RAMblinfan.com take a look at what the offense and defense will need to do to get the team’s first win of the season. After coach Linehan’s outburst in practice yesterday that a lot of people said included some four letter words, this oughta be good!
*Offense- A very important game for St. Louis on the offensive front. Steven Jackson is expected to start the game at running back. It would be his first start since back in week three of the season. He did have over 100 yards in that game. However, in the games before those, he had a combined less than 110. He needs to step it up now and against an aging Seattle defense. Still no word on Marc Bulger’s status for the game this week but we also need him desperately to return. Its very hard to rely on Gus Frerotte considering how bad he has done so far. He’s just not talented enough and the experiance lacks as well. Our offensive line lost center Brett Romberg to injury, the ninth offensive lineman caught with the bug. Andy McCollum should replace him and do fine as he has for us in the past. Drew Bennett, Torry Holt, and Dante Hall all missed midweek practices this week. Holt should play but the status of Bennett and Holt remains uncertain. Before I interviewed Isaac Bruce earlier in the week, he underwent some treatment, but don’t expect him to be back yet. The Seahawks aren’t quite the super bowl team they used to be, with Matt Hasselbeck losing favorite ball catchers like Darrell Jackson, as well as fan favorite fullback Mack Strong. Shaun Alexander has lost a beat in his step as well, now that he is 30 years old. A lot of peoplr have said that 30 is the age where a running back will begin to decline. Some poeple see it already in the 2005 MVP. Deion Branch missed last week’s game due to injury, and he’s out for this week as well which means Hasselbeck will have a hard time as he did last week relying on guys like Bobby Engram.
*Defense- The Rams are 20th in total defense this year, giving up 26.5 yards per game and 337.7 yards per game. The Seahawks are pretty close, coming in at 19th in total defense so far this season. Last week, Tye Hill returned for as at the cornerback position and he is starting to settle back in to the hot streak he was on before he got injured. Ron Bartell will continue to start on the opposite side with Hill. We won’t have a terrible task this week with Shaun Alexander beginning to decline but he can always drop 100 on you. The line needs to stay in shape because Alexander isn’t the type of runner that runs for 50 yarders. He beats with his punch, not his feet. James Hall continues to show he was a solid pickup in the off-season as he leads to defensive line with 25 tackles. But this week, the guys in the middle will get some work. I believe L’Roi Glover and Adam Carriker- as tackles who don’t really get a lot of tackles as it is on defense- will get more work this week. Seattle is in basically the same sort of position right now. We still don’t know for sure if Action will be starting and if not, Brian Leonard will be the task for the Seahawks defense against the run. The strong point of this defense has been the linebackers so far this season, with LeRoy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, and Julian Peterson combining for over 110 tackles and 7 sacks this year.
Keys to the Game: Rams
- Bunch up the guys in the middle of the line. Don’t be afraid to stuff it in Shaun Alexander’s face.
- We need Steven Jackson- if he plays- to have good game.
Keys to the Game: Seahawks
- The Rams always play good against the Seahawks so be quick on your feet and be ready for anything.
Prediction: Rams 17 Seahawks 15
UPDATE: At the conclusion of writing this post, I found out the Steven Jackson’s status is out. Bulger is probable so you know what that means: GO LEONARD!
And continue to check out our sister site: RAMblings over at MVN.com. Brett Knight examines some possible replacements for Scott Linehan. I know what your thinking: Huh? Well, he makes a pretty good case, you’ll want to check that out. Enjoy the game, and we’ll see you back here Monday!