Aug 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens (13) breaks away from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler (52) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
If St. Louis Rams were the stock market, it essentially crashed last week after the deceptively large loss to the Chicago Bears. This week is another chance for redemption over the high-flying Seattle Seahawks. The ‘Hawks have quickly turned into one of the more despised teams in the NFL, through no fault of their own, after the “Inaccurate Reception” play on Monday Night. However, that does not take away from the fact they dominated the Packers offense and were moderately efficient on offense. They will be coming off a short week and coming into St. Louis so the Rams should have the edge. Who stock should be rising and falling going into Sundays matchup…
Michael Brockers: Rising
After the ankle sprain sustained in the final game of the preseason, Brockers has been manning the sidelined with a massive waking boot. That is, until late last week, when the Rams first-rounder shed the cast and was involved in limited practice. The Rams are hopeful that Brockers can return and make an immediate impact in the middle of the defense.
Cortland Finnegan: Falling
He isn’t really falling in terms of performance, but Cortland will likely not put up the numbers like he has in the first three games.Finnegan has an interception in every game so far this season, but against a stingy, run-oriented offense, his chance of continuing that streak are significantly lessened. He will still likely lead the team in deflections and shut down whoever he lines up on man-to-man, but no interceptions will be somewhat of a drop off.
Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams Running Game: Rising
This has to be rising because, after last week, there is really no place to go but up. The Rams abandoned the run early in favor of the quick passing game, which was ineffective because of drops by the receivers. With only 15 rushing attempts, the Rams easily set the low mark for the season, and we saw how that was reflected on the scoreboard. Bradford graded out with a sub-100 quarterback rating for the first time last game, eating a couple of sacks and throwing the ball out late. However, the drops and the lack of a running game significantly held the offense back, which will hopefully not happen again this week.
Chris Givens: Falling
Givens looked extremely nervous in his limited time against the Bears. He dropped one nicely thrown ball and, when he did catch it, looked as if he had no clue what to do with it. After Pettis returned last week, the St. Louis offense will likely be working him more and more into the offensive game plan. That means less snaps for someone, and that man is likely Givens.
Brandon Gibson: Rising
The Bears tried their best to take Danny Amendola out of the game on Sunday, and were decently successful. Much like the second half of the Redskins game, the coverage on Amendola meant that the rest of the receiving core would need to step up their game. That was not the case last week, especially Brandon Gibson. He looked to have returned to his 2010/2011 regular season form, dropping open passes and becoming a non-factor on third down. Look for Gibson to respond with a good game against a tough Seahawks defense.
The Rams Record: Rising
The Rams have yet to play against a sub-par offense this season, playing against two elite quarterbacks, a pair of top tier receivers, and the NFL’s love-child, RGIII. The Seattle offense is one of the most average in the league right now, aside from Marshawn Lynch at running back. Russell Wilson has yet to have a breakout game, but has consistently put up 150 yards passing and a touchdown. That style of play will not work against the Rams defense, regardless of the amazing (and over-hyped) Seahawks secondary. The fact that Bradford plays much better at home than on the road, that the Rams are getting some of their more talented players back from injury, and that they are coming off a full week of practice should translate into a win.