This week the Rams have a very important matchup against the Chicago Bears. If the Rams can win, they’re playoff hopes will stay alive for another week, if they lose, it will be almost impossible to make the post season. The Rams are going to take this one week at a time, so here are this week’s keys to victory.
The Run Game
This goes for both sides of the ball. The Bears have the second worst run defense in the league, it is key that that the Rams take advantage of that. When the Rams beat the Colts, Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens only threw the ball 16 times, which is an ideal number for him.
The key for the Rams making the playoffs is running the football and playing good defense. They’ve been doing a good job at it the past couple of weeks, and they will have to continue to do so this week.
As for the defense, it is time to play consistent. They can’t allow 200 plus yards rushing to Chris Johnson one week then give up one yard rushing to Trent Richardson the next. The Bears will be playing with their backup quarterback, Josh McCown.
There is no shutting down Matt Forte, but the Rams need to a least slow him down and make McCown beat them through the air.
Slowing Down Jeffery and Marshall
The Bears receiving corps is one of the best in the league and the Rams young secondary needs to slow them down. If both of these guys get going, there will be no stopping the Bears offense.
Jeffery has 818 yards receiving on the year and Marshall has 828. The Rams young secondary did a nice job of slowing down top receivers earlier in the season, they will have to do that once again this week.
Win the Battles Up Front
Last season when the Rams played the Bears, the Bears sacked Bradford six times. The Rams absolutely cannot let that happen to Kellen Clemens. If Clemens gets sacked that many times, the Rams don’t stand much of a chance. It will be important for the Rams offensive line to win their battles to protect Clemens and open up running lanes for Stacy.
One the defensive side of the ball it will be important for the Rams front four to create penetration and make McCown feel uncomfortable in the pocket. This guy isn’t Peyton Manning, he’s been a backup nearly his entire career, the Rams need to remind him of that. Creating penetration will also help in stopping the run game.
If the Rams can do these three things, they will give themselves a chance to win. Now if the Rams can also create a couple of turnovers on defense, winning should almost be guaranteed.
The Rams are 4-6 and don’t have much of a chance of making the playoffs, but if they do plan on making a run, it all start right here against the Bears.