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Rams Ready For Cards

St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson gets the crowd excited as he enters the field for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on November 21, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

The more I think about the Rams-Cards matchup on Sunday, the more it makes me nervous. I think the Rams are the better team right now, but something about this Cardinals team has me worried. Let’s take a look at my keys to the game, and this week more than ever, I think it’s imperative that the Rams achieve these keys if they are going to win.

Early And Often – The number one key to this game is for the Rams to jump all over the Cards early in this game. Arizona has talent, but they have shown over the last few weeks that they will roll over if you hit them in the mouth early. The worst thing the Rams can do is let the Cardinals hang around as this game moves to the fourth quarter. If we come out strong, I think it will be a good day.

That’s Fine – Going along with the first point, the Rams have to put pressure on Arizona quarterback Derek Anderson early in the game. Anderson has weapons and is capable of beating you if you let him get comfortable, so the Rams need to use the blitz effectively to keep him on his heels. Much like the rest of the team, I think he will wilt if we hit him early, but we have to have to  make sure we do it.
Running Men – I get the feeling that the Cardinals think they can run the ball effectively against the Rams, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they make it a point to hammer it down our throat. I think we can keep their backs bottled up, but if we do struggle stopping the run, it could be bad news. I know their receivers are very good, but I’ll take my chances with Anderson throwing the ball over their backs running it on a consistent basis.

Keeping Pace – It seems like every time the Rams give us a reason to be excited, they can’t follow up the next week. We are in the thick of this race, and you have to think that Seattle is going to beat Carolina. A loss here would be devastating in my opinion, so the team need to take that next step and prove they are ready to be a major player in this division.

The Cardinals are reeling right now, and we need to make sure they stay that way. As far as my prediction goes, although I do have a bad feeling about this one, I’m going to give the Rams the edge. Let’s go with a 27-20 Rams win.

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, Blitz, Carolina Panthers, Derek Anderson, NFL Week 13, Playoff Race, Prediction, Running Game, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

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