Sam Bradford gets the luxury of going up against the worst passing defense in the league this week against Tampa Bay. Can he take the reigns?
Tampa, while not being elite, boast very formidable air and ground attacks (ranked 12th and 14th, respectively). Led by quarterback Josh Freeman and receiver Vincent Jackson in the passing game, and running back Doug Martin on the ground, it can be a tough road game for the Rams on defense.
The Rams rushing offense can also be facing harsh terrain. The Bucs are first against the run, allowing only 83.3 rushing yards per game. On the other side, Tampa has the worst passing defense in terms of yards allowed, giving up 310.6 yards a game.
So without further ado, here are the players to watch for this week:
QB Sam Bradford
As stated above, the Buccaneers have the worst passing defense in the league. This is the appropriate time for Bradford to take charge of a game.
Sam is coming off of his best game of the season in terms of passing yards. It would be good if he can keep the ball rolling this week.
Bradford's success is directly correlated with Amendola's success. When Danny does good, Sammy does good and vice versa. While we saw Sam spread the ball more last week, Amendola still had 6 catches for 58 yards.
Amendola is also still coming into form after missing two games, so expect him to be more active this week.
DE Robert Quinn
Quinn last sacked a quarterback in Week 14's win over the Buffalo Bills. Before that game, his last sack came in Week 10 – a 3 week drought. Fellow starter Chris Long has had a hard time getting at the quarterback as well. Both Chris and Robert need to do a better job. Making Freeman's job harder makes it easier for the Rams' defense. Pressure Freeman and the D can see more three-and-outs. It can also lead to turnovers, and you know we have corners that can turn those turnovers into points.
Finnegan missed three straight days of practice this week with a thigh injury. Officially, Cortland is listed as questionable.
Finnegan has experience covering big receivers – remember him and Andre Johnson going at it? If Finnegan can't go, The Rams could have a tough time covering Jackson.
He's also one of those corners that can create points out of those turnovers.
WR Brian Quick
Quick played 27 offensive snaps last week, a season-high for the rookie receiver. He was targeted three times, coming away with the ball twice, but his greatest contribution was his touchdown.
The increased number of snaps bodes well for the second rounder. It demonstrates that things are clicking a lot faster for him. The coaching staff should be getting him involved him more often to see what the Appalachian St. product has to offer. It'd be fun to watch him, too.
Author's Note: The right guard position is also one to watch this week. Either Shelley Smith or Chris Williams will be filling in for the injured Harvey Dahl. They're play can be vital for the offense.