Corner back penalties could play a key role this Sunday - Rick Stewart
This game may hinge on the weather as much as anything else, but my eyes will be locked on the rookie corner backs this Sunday.
Remember these names while you watch the St. Louis rams and Buffalo Bills game this week: Stephon Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins, Ron Brooks and Trumaine Johnson. Rookie corner backs all, they may hold to the key to who wins or loses. One the Bils side of the ball, Gilmore and Brooks look great, but penalties have tarnished their performance so far this season. Janoris Jenkins has had an attention deficit at times, so don't be surprised if Ryan Fitzpatrick uses play action to pick on the Rams' rookie. Trumaine Johnson has struggled to cover tight ends, and anyone running a crossing pattern. I've watch him trail receiver across the middle quite a few times this year.
All these young corner backs show amazing promise, and each has shown a weakness or two. With field condition projected to be less than optimal, home field advantage may have this contest leaning toward Gilmore and Brooks. If I were going to pick on any of these four players, it would be Johnson and Brooks.
The Bills' Scott Chandler leads the team in touchdown receptions with six. In the nickle package, Johnson could find himself covering Chandler, especially in the red zone. He'll need safety help or it could be a long day for the former University of Montana star.
Ron Brooks - though lightning fast - could struggle against a big receiver like Brian Quick, or agile players like Danny Amendola. I can see him continuing his penalty trend against the Rams, and these could prove to be the crucial breaks St. Louis may need to improve field position or covert 3rd and longs situations.
I think both teams are going to fling it down the field as long as the weather don't get too bad. T.J. Smith - if single covered by Jenkins - is going to get his deep looks. Gilmore will be the player Brian Schottenheimer will challenge since he seems to like to go after a defense's strong points. If the penalties stay low, and the weather abates, these four players will be fun to watch. It will be cheers or groans when the ball comes their way.