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Stopping the 49er's Offense

With the division game against the 49er's looming, here are a few things the Rams need to do to make sure they have a chance to win. Lucking out with the Frank Gore injury was huge for this team (sorry Frank Gore, best to you, get well soon, but we need every opportunity to have a chance). 

Here is a look at three things that need to be done to stop this offense (in no particular order):

1) Stopping Vernon Davis

No, it isn't stopping Coffee, who has a painful 1.8 yard average and runs backward about 40% of the time. The Rams run defense isn't scary, but if Coffee runs all over us, then we have bigger issues. Back to the point- Vernon Davis had a great day last week, with 96 yards and two touchdowns. For the first two weeks, that was about the average the Rams have given up to a TE, as this table shows:

 

 

 

 

                                                      YDS                 TDS

Week 1- John Carlson, SEA         95                      2

Week 2- Chris Cooley, WAS         83                      -

 

With the loss of David Vobora to steroid suspension, the Rams are really going to have to step up- they did a good job against Green Bay (but then again they also gave up a few big plays to the WR's), but Davis is an athletic TE, and if they aren't careful, they are going to get burned hard.

2) Minimizing Shaun Hill

Shaun Hill isn't that bad of a QB, as through three games, he's quietly put up some nice stats (548 yards, 3 tds, 1 int, 63.4% completion percentage). The Rams are already out James Butler and could be out Ron Bartell, and didn't play all that well against the pass last week. It is almost a guarantee that the 49er's are going to try to exploit this and use Isaac Bruce and Vernon Davis to their fullest abilities. The Rams are going to have to play good, tight coverage, which is going to be a challenge. Shaun Hill has some ability to scramble, so in general the defense is just going to have to be on their toes- without the main weapon in the offense, the 49er's are going to try and mix it up for sure. Good coverage is going to be a must for the final point, which is....

3) Attacking the QB

OK, OK, this is sort of one in the same. The point I was trying to make in the second was that the Rams need to play tight coverage and be alert and this is exactly why. The Rams haven't been able to produce coverage, and Coffee seems to be more akin to run backwards then forwards, so the Rams are going to have to be aggressive in blitzing. By now, the coaching staff should realize that a standard 4 person front just isn't going to cut it. Throwing extra people in a blitz is a must if they want to get sacks at this point. The secondary is bruised, but opting for coverage instead of blitzing just won't work, as you could probably tell from last week.

 

We already know what the offense is made of (Steven Jackson and with a sprinkle of Daniel Fells/Keenan Burton here and their) but it's about time we see what this defense is made of. Going up against a somewhat good (I'll reserve the "good" term for a few weeks) team should be a nice gauge for this team.

Go Rams!