This is my first "X Factors" post and what I’m trying to do here is identify a few factors in this football game that could make or break a St. Louis Rams victory. Hope y’all enjoy.
X Factor #1 – Kellen Clemens:
He’s been a serviceable QB so far, but with a relatively small sample size this season, the jury is still out on whether the Rams can depend on him. Kellen can change our hearts and minds with a big game against the Bears. This week Clemens will be facing a Chicago front seven that’s been kind of a mixed bag. Their linebacker play has been pretty on-point (watch out for Lance Briggs, Kellen!), however their defensive line has been inconsistent throughout the season. Against the run, they’ve given up an average of 134 yards per game and stand-out rookie Zac Stacy could make them pay. Establishing a running game will do wonders for Clemens’ ability to complete passes down the stretch. And that is precisely why he’s my first "X Factor" of the game. The Rams stand a good chance of winning this game if Clemens can get the ball in the end zone. Just watch out for the Bear’s secondary… they’ll make you pay if you throw the ball late or throw in heavy coverage. Ya hear me Kellen?? The Bears defense is GOOD!
X Factor #2 – Michael Brockers:
Brockers is going to have his hands full this week. The Bears’ offensive line has been surprisingly stout this season, allowing the skill players to rack up big points for the team. They’ve been impressive both in run blocking and pass protection, but if the Lions have proved anything, it’s that they’re not invincible. Detroit was able to beat Chicago twice this season because of an extremely disruptive defensive line. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley were able to beat the Bear’s offensive line multiple times for key sacks, hurries, and tackles for a loss. While Suh and Fairley are playing at an exceptionally high level, I think that Michael Brockers can indeed have that same type of success this weekend. If he can disrupt Matt Forte and Josh McCown, the Rams will have a great chance of limiting the Bear’s scoring opportunities. But Forte has shown a prowess at making the defense miss, so watch out for that guy! Ya hear me Brockers?? Matt Forte is GOOD!
X Factor #3 – St. Louis Home Turf Advantage:
The Bears are 2-2 on the road this season, with losses coming from Detroit and Washington. That’s not encouraging nor is it damning for the Rams. All I know is that the Bears just seem to be a different team away from Soldier Field. There’s a magic about Soldier that is hard to ignore, and the Edward Jones Dome ain’t gonna have that. If Rams’ fans of StL show up on Sunday and get that place rocking, the Bears probably won’t be in their comfort zone. Create just enough chaos, and Chicago could really struggle. On the other hand, judging by the Rams’ season and the Bears’ season thus far, this game could really come down to the wire. Home turf advantage could make all the difference this week.