Essentially, the Rams’ playoffs start now and they can’t afford to drop another game for the rest of the season. This is possible…unlikely, but possible. Ram fans have accepted another season that didn’t take the Rams to the playoffs. For this season to be a success, the Rams must win at least six games at the end of the year to show the football world that they are on the rise. The Rams have been a little unlucky in several games this year, but there’s no point dwelling on the past and thinking what could’ve been. The Rams need to develop their young raw talent and change it into skill and ability before they’re on the right track to be the strongest team in a tough division. The most impressive and positive statistic so far this season, is that the Rams haven’t lost any divisional games from three games. Can the Rams keep their divisional success going? This is what the Rams should and shouldn’t do against the struggling Cardinals to walk away with the win.
- Must rush the rookie quarterback. Ryan Ridley is about the have his first start in the NFL against the St. Louis Rams. Last time Kevin Kolb dropped back a massive 50 times, which resulted in nine sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 21 hurries. This means 86 percent of the time, Kevin Kolb was under some sort of pressure. The Rams defense are ranked fifth for sacks and the Cardinals offense are ranked last for sacks allowed. If the Rams can get close to these numbers, expect Ridley to quickly go back into his shell.
- Must get defensive turnovers. The Rams are ranked 1oth for total yards against, but are ranked dead last in fumbles forced and fumbles recovered. The Rams haven’t had a turnover on defense in five games and haven’t won a game in five games. Coincidence? I dont think so. The last turnover was in week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams defense must get their hands on the ball to win this ball game.
- The Rams must get the running game going. If the underrated Cardinals defense stops the run, this will see the Rams be one dimensional to the pass. The Rams passing game isn’t lethal enough to pick apart defenses on obvious passing situations. Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson have been a dynamic duo over the past two weeks. If the Rams can carry their momentum going against the Cardinals, expect Sam Bradford to have a day out.
- Can’t give up costly penalties. It’s safe to say that the Rams have thrown games away from their own doings throughout this season. The Rams are ranked 3rd for most penalties (79) so far this year. This game will be a low scoring game and in low scoring games penalties can be more costly than usual. The Rams need to be more polished on both sides of the ball if they are hoping to move to third in the NFC West.
- The Rams can’t allow Ridley to get off to a good start, they must get to the back field and make their presence felt against a young quarterback. If the Rams can get into Ridleys head, then he will make rookie mistakes such as throws that shouldn’t be made, holding the ball for too long and becoming too predictable. This all must happen from the first snap.
- Must stop Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, his numbers are down this year and maybe he isn’t the once dominating receiver he used to be, but no team should underestimate what he can still do. The majority of the public will say that his numbers are down because of the lack of talent behind center, but what if Ridley is the quarterback the Cardinals have been looking for and turns out to be an absolute star? The Rams should take no chances and contain the six time pro bowler.
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