Week 1- Panthers @ Rams


This Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, the Rams kick off their 2007 campaign against the Carolina Panthers. It should be an exciting game and here’s a preview.

*Offense- When looking at the Rams offense, they seem to have a lot of good weapons that they can use to exploit any weaknesses that may be present. Marc Bulger is currently has one of the best records among active quarterbacks who have started ten or more regular season games. Look for him to have a solid game with Steven Jackson behind him and Torry Holt running routes. Bulger is entering his sixth year as the starting QB for St. Louis and was named to the pro bowl twice in that span. Looking at the Panthers offensive weapons, they seem only to have one proven playmaker in WR Steve Smith. Smith has been a dominant reciever and has caught nearly 200 passes since 2005. QB Jake Delhomme is in his fifth year as the starter for Carolina, and the man playing behind him at RB is still a concern. DeShaun Foster looks to be the front runner but if I were a Panthers fan, I would want another playmaker on my offense. In that case, youngster DeAngelo Williams would be the way to go. That’s just the problem with this offense. There are not enough playmakers. Having only Steve Smith and no one else at WR makes it easier for the Rams defense to cover Smith. Guys like Keary Colbert and Drew Carter seem to have been waiting in the wings, so to speak, but have never broken out. They’ll need to do that if they plan on winning the offensive battle.

EDGE: Rams.

*Defense- When looking at the defenses for the Rams and the Panthers, it seems to be more of an average battle. The problem with the Panthers defense has always been injuries. MLB Dan Morgan decided to play one more year, coming off of his fifth career concussion. However, this squad did finish seventh in total yards per game on defense in 2006. The starting four look bright with Julius Peppers, Maake Kemoatu, Kris Jenkins, and Mike Rucker. Rucker has the second most sacks in team history behind Peppers. These guys are definitely a talented tandem on either side of the line. Some other notable players on d for Carolina are Na’il Diggs who is in his second year with the team at weak side linebacker, and fourth year vet Chris Gamble who has been in the top two on the team in interceptions in his first three years. On the Rams, there really isn’t that much to be excited about in the secondary as CB Fakhir Brown has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Ron Bartell replaces him. Up front, expect Leonard Little to get the start at left tackle, with rookie Adam Carriker taking the load at nose tackle. EDGE: Panthers.

PREDICTION: Rams 24 Panthers 16

I think the big key for the Rams is going to be stop Steve Smith because he is the only weapon the Panthers have on offense and if they can stop him, they can win. I beleive they will stop him. The key for the Panthers is to stop Steven Jackson and Torry Holt. I think it will be easier stopping Jackson with a line that is so talented.