NOV 20, 2011; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) runs for a touchdown behind Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long (77) against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Rams have come off an amazing Primetime performance, showing the football nation that they’re no longer a team that can be walked over. But is there something called a Thursday night football ‘hangover’? Out of the four teams that have won on Thursday night football this year (Rams and Titans don’t count because they’re yet to play after their Thursday night game) only one team, the Baltimore Ravens, have maintained their winning streak as they scraped across the line against a struggling Kansas City Chiefs.
Is the 10 day rest too long for players? Does it switch the players’ minds off football for too long? Teams haven’t managed themselves well after playing on a Thursday night, resulting in a poor performance the following week.
It will be interesting to see how the Rams apply themselves against an underrated Miami Dolphins.
Rams Defensive Line Vs Reggie Bush
This match up will separate the winner from the loser. Since graduating from college, running back Reggie Bush is only now starting to live up to the high expectations of performing at a truly elite level. Over time, he has formed into a dynamic running back with the ability to hurt a team in the passing game. Bush is averaging a little over 102 yards a game from scrimmage and has collected three total touchdowns for the season. The Rams defensive line have only had one good game in stopping the run. Five games into the season and the Rams have already given up 586 yards and six touchdowns. If the Rams are to have any chance against the Dolphins, they must stop giving up 115+ yards and a touchdown every game – so containing Reggie Bush is essential.
Rams Offensive line Vs Dolphins Defense
We all know how good Sam Bradford can be when he has the time to let a play unfold. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to be so simple. The Rams offensive line is banged up, while the Dolphins pass rushers are in white hot form. The Rams offensive line will need to perform the way they have been in recent weeks if Bradford is to have any time in the pocket. Although keeping Bradford on his feet is the primary focus, the offensive line must create holes for Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson to establish a good balance between passing and rushing. A good rushing game will allow offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to be more creative with play calling throughout the game. Current Rams left tackle Wayne Hunter, will need a big game as he will be up against a dominant Cameron Wake. If Hunter plays a poor game, things could get ugly.
Robert Quinn Vs Jake Long
It took three sacks on Primetime for defensive end Robert Quinn to make a name for himself outside of St. Louis, athough he was up against a struggling rookie left tackle. This week is another chance for Robert Quinn to take the next step in his young NFL career, as he will be up against All-Pro left tackle Jake Long. There is no better opportunity for Quinn to cement his name as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. Jake Long hasn’t made a great start to the season as he has already given up an unlikely five sacks in only five games. If Quinn is able to make his presence felt early, quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be in for a long day. Although Long has had a bad stretch of games, don’t be surprised if he brings his ‘A’ game, as he is more than capable of being a shut down left tackle. This match up is simply the one to watch. One player trying to prove that he is a top NFL pass rusher, while the other is trying to maintain his reputation as one of the best left tackles in the NFL.
While the Dolphins are trying to reach the .500 record, the Rams are trying to maintain their position above .500. Both teams have improved immensely since their dismal 2011 seasons and are still looking to make a statement in the NFL. One of two scenarios will be created after this game in the NFL world. Either the Rams will become a serious playoff contender, moving their record to an impressive 4-2, or the Rams lose and become just another unnoticed 3-3 team, that will be up against the likes of the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots before their bye week. Rams must win games on the road before they’re mentioned as a playoff team. This is their chance to prove that they aren’t just a dull 6-10 or 7-9 team, but in fact reaching to be a serious playoff contender. The Rams very seldom win a game comfortably and the Dolphins game will be no exception. It will come down to the last two minutes. Be prepared for sweaty palms and shorter finger nails – this game will go down to the wire.