I mentioned the other day that I had a long conversation with Cat Crave Radio host John White after my interview about the Carolina Panthers, and as promised, here is an inside look at the team the Rams will be hosting this weekend. First, let’s take a look at their quarterback situation. As many of you know, I’ve long been a fan of Jimmy Clausen, but he has really struggled in limited time this season. I’m of the opinion that head coach John Fox, who will not be returning to Carolina next season, is looking out for himself by playing Matt Moore and hurting the future of the franchise, but I don’t know. Either way, their quarterback situation certainly isn’t great,and I think getting pressure on Moore could decide this game. He is decent when he has time, but he will make mistakes, more than other quarterbacks, when he is pressured. We can’t let him get comfortable back there.
My next question was about the running game. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are two of the better runners in the league, but neither one is having a great season. For those of you wondering, Williams missed practice again Thursday with a foot injury, and he might not go this week. The biggest problem with the running game is their quarterback. Defenses are loading up the box with eight-man fronts, and with All-Pro tackle Jeff Otah out, the running game has really been slowed. If Williams is unable to go this week, it could be a nice added bonus for St. Louis.
Defensively, the Panthers are actually pretty good. They have a young defensive line, but there is plenty of talent there. The linebacking corps has some solid players, but injuries have caused them to play out of position. The group that most concerns me is the secondary. They have some playmakers in that group, namely Chris Gamble, and I am worried that turnovers could happen. Sam Bradford needs to take care of the ball, and we should be fine.
Injury Report: SJ39 didn’t practice today, but he said he will play this weekend. That’s great news. He is trying to find some kind of soft cast to wear on Sunday, but expect him to be full-go. Fred Robbins didn’t go today, and his status is still unknown. If he can’t go, it would be a big blow. Jason Smith left after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Chris Long, but hopefully he will be fine. Clifton Ryan was placed on IR due to migraines, so we can stop worrying about him. I don’t know what the deal is here, but I can’t believe they can’t get it solved. The team signed safety Michael Lewis to take Ryan’s spot, and he is another Spags guy who is a former Pro Bowler.
To lighten the mood, here is a picture of Bradford making good on his bet with Danario Alexander over the Oklahoma-Mizzou game last weekend. Sam looks awfully good in the black and gold. Sorry for the size, it’s the only way I could get it on.