First I would like to thank the thousands of men and woman in the military and that work as first responders all around the globe that keep us safe every day and allow us to go to NFL games with our families, we owe you and we thank you!
The word of the day is change. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams have made big changes since the end of the 2010 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles will feature eight new starters on defense, four new starters, at their positions, on the offensive line and a new defensive coordinator who was an offensive line coach for 15 years. The St. Louis Rams who were also very active in the free agent market will have four new starters on defense, and most likely four on the offensive side of the ball along with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Linebackers will have a huge roll in this game. Look for the St. Louis Rams to line up with their solid offensive line and attack the middle of the Eagles defense with Steven Jackson. The Eagles will start an inexperienced linebacker core featuring rookie middle linebacker Casey Matthews. The Eagles starting three of Mattews, Fokou, and Chaney are inexperienced and very small. The Rams must attack them, control the ball and keep the Eagles weapons off the field.
Although the Rams have improved their depth at wide receiver they will not scare the Eagles who are loaded at cornerback with Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. With Michael Hoomanawanui most likely not playing a lot of pressure may fall on rookie TE Lance Kendricks. The Rams will need to buy enough time for Sam Bradford to make some plays. The Eagles are inexperienced at safety and the Rams need to use double moves as well as misdirection and screen passes in order to get bigger chucks of yardage.
On offensive the Eagles are explosive but the Rams are catching them at the best possible time. It will take the Eagles several games to bring together all of their new pieces. Michael Vick completed only 2 pass for 8 yards to DeSean Jackson in the preseason and Jeremy Maclin missed most of the preseason with an illness. For the Rams to be effective they will need to keep the Eagles off of the field. Third down conversions will be the key to this. The Eagles will strike with a ton of screens to LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown & Dion Lewis all with great ability in the open field. The Rams will need to tackle this trio and keep Vick in the pocket, easier said than done.
This is a game the Rams could and maybe should win. The Rams have 6 former Eagles on their roster along with head coach Steve Spagnuolo so they should be very familiar with what the Eagles will try to do. In addition the Rams had 43 sacks last year and the Eagles offensive line is going to struggle greatly early in the season. If the Rams can stay away from turning the ball over and also new outside linebackers Ben Leber and Bryan Kehl will need big games.
Overall this is a game the Rams probably should win in week 1, however I just see the Eagles getting bigger plays from their playmakers. The Eagles have four players on the field at all times that can take it to the house and that will be the difference in this one.
Prediction Philadelphia Eagles 24 - St. Louis Rams 20
By Stlvinnie - [url]http://www.stlouisramfan.com[/url]