Hello all, Ramalicious here with my week 2 game prediction. Last week, I was correct on two predictions: We got the W, and Jared Cook was our best player on offense for week 1.
This week, I'm going to keep the prediction short/sweet and to the point. Here we go!
STL Defense vs ATL Offense
I'm going to make the assumption here that Janoris Jenkins will be covering Julio Jones based on the fact that Jenkins has experience playing Jones before in college, and that Jenkins matches up more favorably with Jones than Finnegan does due to physical and athletic capabilities. If Roddy White suits up, I believe Finnegan will mainly cover him due to the experience of both players, and that White isn't as physically dominating as Jones is.
I'm going to say this: Jenkins is underrated in the NFL and even unappreciated on our own team. He arguably played at shutdown status week 1 against ARI but his performance got overlooked, as most people were more concerned with how badly Finnegan played. Finnegan might luck out this week because Roddy White is not 100% healthy. Because of White's injury, I'm thinking that the Rams will contain ATL's passing offense with regard to Julio Jones and Roddy White. The real problem for St. Louis is going to be Tony Gonzalez. Don't get me wrong. Steven Jackson is of course going to be a main focus, but it is Tony Gonzalez who will have the largest impact on the game for ATL's offense. I believe that Alec Ogletree will be the main one covering Gonzalez, which is a terrible matchup for the Rams, considering the differential in experience.
I believe that the Rams will keep ATL at around 20 points. Steven Jackson has a decent chance of accumulating around 100 yards rushing, but Tony Gonzalez will probably have the biggest performance. I don't think Julio Jones or Roddy White will do shit. Jenkins is a pro bowl caliber corner, and White is injured.
STL Offense vs. ATL Defense
Well now that we know ATL won't score more than 20 points, how many points will the Rams score tomorrow?
To answer that question, let's look at the matchups:
I'm going to tell you guys right now, DO NOT expect the same type of game from Jared Cook this week. It's just not going to happen. You can bet ATL will be focusing on Cook after last week, and will probably be their main target. ATL has a good run D, so don't expect Richardson to do much either. The player who is going to have the biggest game offensively for the Rams will be Tavon Austin. I believe this will be Austin's breakout game, based purely on the matchup this week. I like his chances against who I am suspecting will be their #3 corner Robert Alford. Tavon Austin is just on another level athletically than him. Austin will get his first TD this week and 70+ yards receiving.
With regard to the team though, I'd say 21-30 points is realistic. Yes, I am predicting the Rams will win this game. I'll say 24-20 to be on the more conservative side.
It's going to be a close and great game tomorrow, looking forward to watching. Thanks for reading.