All is good though, the Rams are going to make the best of this situation and as Robert Quinn said on an interview on NFL Network, don’t count the Rams out just yet. Here are five things the Rams must do in order to continue their run and make the playoffs.
Play Solid Consistent Defense
The last three weeks we have seen two different Rams defense. The Rams defense everybody expected them to be at the beginning of the season that is hard to move the ball against and harasses the quarterback, and then the defense that brings back memories of the Spagnuolo, Haslett, and Linehan eras that allow over 200 yards rushing.
In order for the Rams to make a run their defense is going to have to play the same type of defense that they played against the Seahawks and Colts. That defense is a championship caliber defense and a defense that will win you football games.
The defense that allows over 200 yards rushing is when winning football games becomes very difficult. We know the Rams defense has the personnel and the ability to play like a top defense they just need to do it on a consistent basis.
The Rams don’t have an offense that is going to be able to carry the team on their shoulder right now, the defense needs to step up and carry this team. This may be an offensive quarterback driven league, but its the teams with a running game and solid defenses that go to the Super Bowl.
Kellen Clemens The Game Manager
If it’s one thing we should have learned it’s that Clemens is no Peyton Manning, but that doenst mean he can’t get the job done. Clemens can be that Alex Smith type player for the Rams that Smith is for the Chiefs.
Last week Clemens was 9/16 for 247 yards. If Schottenheimer can keep Clemens under 20 throws that means that the rest of the team is doing its job. The less throws that Clemens has to attempt, the better.
All the Rams need Clemens to do is not make crucial mistakes like he did against the Seahawks and Titans, and almost again last week, and just make the important throws. Last week Clemens was 7/9 for 229 yards and threw both of his touchdowns on third down. Six of those completions on third down also went for a first down or touchdown.
If Clemens can continue to do that and not make too many mistakes for this team to overcome, the Rams will be in pretty good shape. The positive is that Clemens has experience, knows the offense really well, and is proving that he can play at a high level.
When In Doubt Give The Ball To Zac Stacy
The Rams aren’t going to be able to throw the ball 50 times a game with Clemens under center, therefore they are going to have to run the football. Luckily for them they found a guy in the fifth round of last years draft named Zac Stacy.
Right now Stacy has 537 yards on the season and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Stacy ranks 16th in the league in rushing yards, but at seasons end he very well could make his way into the top 10.
The Rams need to run Stacy and run Stacy often especially in the red zone. There is no need to get cute, just hand the ball off to your physical back. Stacy has scored four touchdowns since taking over and that should continue.
Jeff Fisher seems to have found his Eddie George in Zac Stacy, and you hate to run him to death and chance wearing him down, but what other options do the Rams have. The Rams may have just found their running back of the future.
A Little Luck
It’s going to be very difficult for the Rams to win out as they play Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, and Arizona in their remaining six games not to mention Tampa Bay who is on a win streak.
Even if the Rams were to win out, making the playoffs would be difficult, but the Rams can’t lose more than one game in the final stretch even to have a chance. You have to remember Dallas, Carolina, and San Francisco currently own the tie breaker against St. Louis and the only one that can change is San Francisco if the Rams can beat them in week 13.
The Rams are going to need a lot of help to even make the playoffs at 9-7, but crazier things have happened in the NFL, I mean the Buccaneers and Jaguars both won their first game in the same week, now that’s pretty crazy.
A playoff run does seem improbable at this point, but not impossible. Until they Rams are mathematically out, they are still in it, and as of right now, mathematically, they can still make the playoffs.
Last season it was the Redskins who started 3-6 and made the playoffs, if the Rams take this thing one step at a time, one game at a time, there is no reason they can’t do it this year. Why not us?