St. Louis Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers; Week 3 Preview


The St. Louis Rams (1-1) will be back in the Edward Jones Dome this Sunday as they square off with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1). The Rams are hoping to bounce back from last weeks dreadful performance against the Washington Redskins.

The Rams had an atrocious day attempting to stop the run as the Redskins put up 182 yards on the ground. The Steelers on the another hand, are flying into St. Louis with the biggest smile in the world, as they gave the San Francisco 49ers a bashing in Week 2. Pittsburgh beat them with their powerful offense to the tune of 43-18. However with this Rams’ team, who knows what will happen this Sunday.

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Speaking of the Rams lousy run stopping, Steelers superstar running back Le’veon Bell rejoined the team this week after completing his two-game suspension for violating the NFL Substance Abuse Policy, and will play Sunday against the Rams.

St. Louis has allowed 306 rushing yards through the first two games this year. Last year Bell rushed for 1,361 yards, and had 854 receiving yards. He had some pretty substantial averages of4.7 yards per rushing attempt, and 10.3 yards per catch. The Steelers already have a tough offense as it is right now and adding the duel threat Bell could give the Rams even more problems.

The return of Bell is horrible news for St. Louis as they are heading into Week 3 with the third highest rushing yards allowed per game. However on the flip side, the Rams could be unleashing their own hopeful superstar running back Todd Gurley. Fisher said, via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Todd’s going to play when he’s ready to play. It’s a non-factor. He’ll be a week-to-week and might be a game-time decision. That’s how that’ll go. “

The Rams running game has been less than impressive so far this season, and maybe Gurley could be the missing puzzle piece to this disastrous start. St. Louis ranked 26th in rushing and saw no improvement with Tre Mason back in the starting lineup. After sitting out Week 1, with a hamstring injury, Mason made his season debut with a lackluster performance of 7 rushing attempts for 26 yards.

Mason and offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti will have to get creative this Sunday in order to somehow start a new running game in St. Louis. Besides the running game being sub-par for St. Louis, the passing game seems rejuvenated with Nick Foles under center.

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles (5) drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Through two games Foles has totaled 447 yards through the air with a completion percentage of 59.3 %. Foles also has an impressive 94.4 quarterback rating, and could be airing it out against the weak Steelers secondary come Sunday.

Foles will be dueling it out with Ben Roethlisberger who also has had success under center this year. Roethlisberger has totaled 720 yards through the air, with a completion percentage of 72.3 %. Roesthlisberger may have a better stat line but Foles could have the upper hand. Foles could take advantage of a Steelers’ secondary that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 74.4 percent of their throws for six touchdowns, the second-highest total in the league.

Foles favorite target so far this season has been tight end Jared Cook who has hauled in 132 receiving yards. Besides Cook, St. Louis has been using wide receiver Tavon Austin in multiple packages. Austin holds the number one spot in rushing yards for the Rams with 57 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully that will change with Mason, and possibly Gurley, getting it going this Sunday.

We will check back in as the week progresses and the Rams wait to hear on a injuries, and hopefully more news on Gurley, but this should be an intense game. If the Rams can find a true running game, and have Foles gain control in the passing game, they could manage to leave Week 3 with a victory and stay undefeated at home in 2015.