It's time once again for the TST staff to play 1 to 10 (10 being best chance, 1 being worst).
This weeks topic: What are the chances 1-10 that the Rams can beat the Cowboys?
Yes, this week the Rams travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, and all looks to be a Dallas rout right? Not so fast. With the Rams adding Brandon Lloyd, and Mark Clayton recently coming off the PUP list and "maybe" being on the field, this may not be the "same old sorry --- Rams" you're used to seeing.
Last week, even though the Rams got blown out 24-3 in Green Bay, the Rams actually put forth their best effort to date, rendering the Packers scoreless in the second half. As a matter of fact, 21 of the 24 points came in the second quarter alone. The Rams also seemed to move the ball fairly well even though scoring was a whole other story. Not a surprise in 2011 thus far.
But Dallas is a team that Steven Jackson likes to prove a point to. When Jackson was drafted in 2004, the Cowboys had a chance to draft him before the Rams and did not do so. I think that always bothered him and he took it personally (just my opinion).
Jackson proved he could elevate his playing level in 2008 when the Rams upset the Cowboys 34-14 and the Rams rode the Jackson Express to the tune of 25 CAR 160 YDS and 3TD.. remember that? can he do it again?
Sidebar: Ahem, Speaking of upsets, here's a bold prediction from The Bleacher Report.
But we all will admit, the big hang up this week is the health of one Sam Bradford (Update: Word is Sam is starting!). This will be a tough read for TST brass to predict, but let's see what is said after the jump. Enjoy!
PS: Please submit your own rating and explanation in the comments below! 10 being the best chance, and 1 being the worst. If you've never commented before, give it a shot. Registration is free and fast... plus we don't bite, and I promise it will get addicting!
6 - I'm assuming Sam is at the very least limited in playing time, and sharing the play calling with A.J. Feeley? If so, Lloyd playing may not have the effect we're hoping for this week. With Saffold hurting, the Cowboy's defense will have their ears pinned back, stunting or blitzing on every play. If McD finds a way to get the ball out quickly, and Steven Jackson gets 30+ touches, we win a low scoring contest.
10 - The Cowboys are evil incarnate. I cannot allow myself to envision a Rams loss on Sunday. We deserve this one.
2 - I am going to give the Rams a 2. With Bradford banged up and probably not playing, we may not see the impact of Lloyd just yet and the Cowboys have a gret run defense while rushing the passer very well; not a good equation for the Rams to pull off the huge upset.
4 - I thought the Rams had a good chance in this game, but now that Bradford could be out, theres no way I can say that. Even if Bradford can play I'm not expecting greatness, because of our o-line and his most likely reduced mobility.
4 - If we hadn't picked up Lloyd this week, I would have voted 3. Yes we've improved, but it's still not enough. Lloyd gives us a slightly better chance, and yet there is still the Bradford x-factor we're all wondering about (I would have voted a 5 if Sam were guaranteed to play). Still, Dallas is one of those teams who can really throw a stinker on any given Sunday. Let's hope it's this week.
7 - If there was ever a chance for a trap game, now is it. Dallas has played teams close in almost every match-up and they blew leads late in the game the last two weeks in a row. With Brandon Lloyd already having knowledge of the offensive system, now is the time to really get things going. If the Rams can't keep up with a flailing Cowboys team, then this season could be very, very, very long.
0 or 5 - If Feely plays 0, If Bradford plays 5. If AJ Feely plays, everyone knows we have no chance in hell to win the game. If Bradford plays I think we have a shot. Even though we only had 3 points last week we moved the ball very well and our defense was great. If we can just get some points in the Red Zone against the Cowboys, I think we have a good shot to beat them.
0 or 4 - If Feeley plays, 0, If Sam plays, 4. I'd really like to raise that number up higher but this offense can't score. We moved the ball well against Green Bay but the offense kept shooting itself and I doubt the addition of one player will change that.
5 - If we can get pressure on Romo, and keep the game within one score through the 4th quarter, then I trust Bradford and Lloyd in the 4th more than I trust Romo and whatever receiver he tries to throw to. The defense needs to create pressure and force some turnovers, and the offense needs to execute on 3rd down. We can't settle for field goals and expect to win. I've seen too many field goals in my time as a Ram and Ohio State Buckeye fan, I'm ready to start scoring some points.
Ryan Van Bibber
6 - It feels like better odds than it should be, but you can sense a much different vibe from this team. They have a chip on their shoulder, finally, in that sunny Spagnuolo way that makes it seem like a chip stuffed with uber positive potpourri. Dallas can be elite at times, but dysfunction in others. Ultimately, the matchup of Justin King and Al Harris against Miles Austin and Dez Bryant is just too much. However, you could certainly see this Dallas team getting caught sleeping against the Rams.