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Looking ahead to the week 4 contest against the Seattle Seahawks gives Rams fans reason for hope and anxiety alike.
This Sunday the St. Louis Rams will square off against one of the most talked about teams in the NFL when they face the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks have owned the Rams in recent years, having won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the two teams. The Rams will try and pull their record back to .500 at 2-2, while the Seahawks will try to match the burning pace of the Arizona Cardinals, who are as of yet undefeated- I know right?
1. The Rams defense is sitting in a good spot, having shown that they can limit good teams to mediocre performances, both with their pass rush and secondary. Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan are quickly becoming one of the best corner back combinations in the NFL, with Finnegan having three interceptions in as many games. Going against a young but decent quarterback in Mr. Russel Wilson, the Rams will surely get something tangible from FinneJenks.
2. Robert Quinn and Chris Long, while not earning as many sacks as we fans would like, are constantly in the offensive backfield, causing the opposing quarterbacks to get rid of the football faster, resulting in more mistakes through the air. The Seahawks offensive line is almost as bad as the Rams line, which should result in Russel Wilson running around like a headless chicken. He was limited by Green Bay to just 130 yards and two scores, one of which should never have counted.
3. Sam Bradford has been very good at not turning the ball over. Argue the point of coverage sacks all you want, Sam is taking a sack rather than throwing an interception. He has also been very good at not fumbling the ball on contact by the defense. Watch over the games played so far, and you see a quarterback who is tucking the ball quicker, sensing the presence of defensive linemen and linebackers bearing down on him. While he does have two fumbles and three interceptions so far this season, these numbers are not bad at all considering the patchwork offensive line and a corps of under-performing receivers. If the Seattle-Green Bay game is foreshadowing of what Sam will face on Sunday, he will continue to have to protect the football.
4. Steven Jackson has a solid #2 behind him for the first time in his career. While it is way too early to crown Daryl Richardson the heir apparent to #39, he is fitting in nicely, making the most of his opportunities, while running hard toward the holes. Through three games he has accumulated 21 carries for 119 yards, while only losing the ball one time; which thankfully did not lose the game for the Rams. He has also shown flashes of being a good out-of-the-backfield receiver, having caught three balls for 23 yards. With Jackson coming off of a hamstring injury that limited his speed and cutting ability last week, Daryl Richardson must continue to perform when called upon.
1. The offensive line performed ok against a mean pass rush in Detroit, week one. Week two had the Rams looking like playoff contenders against the Redskins at home. Week three, the line looked like a mix between swiss cheese and a rusted out Yugo; you could just see right through them. Granted, the Chicago Bears have one of the best defenses in the league, but you would expect a little better from the Rams, after all, these guys are professionals.The Seahawks defense effectively shut down the high flying offense of the Green Bay Packers, allowing only 12 points and about as many yards it seemed.
2. Seattle goes into this game with the 2nd ranked rush defense in the league to this point. With Steven Jackson, who may not be 100%, and a rookie backup running back, things don't look good in the running game this week. The Seahawks have limited their opponents to just 58.7 yards per game on the ground. Let that sink in for a moment.
3. The Rams have five interceptions and only 1 touchdown as a result. The offense must find ways to turn those turnovers into points.
4. Danny Amendola's inconsistency. Ok, I know I am going to take some heat for calling Danny inconsistent, but stats don't lie my friends. Through three games Danny has, 25 receptions for 296 yards and one TD. Breaking those numbers down though, we can see what I'm preaching. Against Detroit- 5 receptions, 70 yards. Against Washington- 15 receptions, 160 yards, and a TD. Against Chicago- 5 receptions, 66 yards. Now Danny's inconsistencies are not all his fault. Many times Sam has been pressured to throw that ball, forced to check down, or Danny has been covered well, as in the Chicago game. The Rams showed against Washington that Amendola can put up huge numbers. Schottenheimer has to figure out how to get Danny the ball more.
Not All Doom and Gloom
While the above points give you reason to wallow in the post-loss mud hole that is being a Rams fan, they should also give you as many reasons to get as excited as if it were the day before the NFL draft. Not only is this the youngest team in football, but also one of the most well coached and high ceiling teams in the league. Fret not Rams fans, for our day will come, there is no stopping this team now. Surely, there will be bumps in the road -losses will come- but this team will have it's time in the spotlight, it is inevitable.