This weeks opponent, the New Orleans Saints, go into week 14 with a 9-3 record and in second place in the NFC South. Their 3 losses this season have been to the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. With the Saints being defending Super Bowl Champions, it makes you wonder how they could have lost to the Browns and Cardinls considering how they are not two of the better teams in the league this year. Looking back at those two losses it was pretty obvious to me that those teams were playing over their heads and needed some lucky breaks and/or trick plays to pull off those victories.
In that Browns game, I want to tip my hat to the Browns coaching staff for coming into the game prepared to run a few trick plays that caught the Saints just a little off guard. I don't know if Spagnuolo and Shurmur have it in them to run some trick plays being that, with Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson on the offense, maybe we feel that running trick plays are not necessary.
I would imagine another huge dose of Steven Jackson will be in the mix on Sunday. I am sure Browns running back Peyton Hillis is a big power back that would like to be thought of as the next Steven Jackson. He had a good day against the Saints that week with 16 rushes for 69 yards and a TD. Check out the breakdown of Peyton Hillis' touchdown. The offense did a good job of setting up the blocks and neutralizing the Saints defense to open up a huge hole on the left side for him to score.
The loss to the Cardinals seems to be a result of the Cardinals special teams and defense really coming through with some key plays. Two interceptions returned for touchdowns and three field goals made accounted for the majority of the Cardinals scoring with that game being Max Hall's debut. Not much was expected from him and he didn't need to with all the big plays that the Cards came through with. Check out the highlights.
Comparing the defensive units from the Saints and the Rams, the Rams are right up there in the NFC defensive rankings with the Saints in points given up per game (Saints 18.9 / Rams 19.8), they are pretty even in rushing yards given up per game (Rams 103.5 / Saints 107.8). The Saints give up less passing yards per game than the Rams (Saints 199.3 / Rams 229.5). As much as we talk about the Rams defensive backs having hands of stone, the Rams have 10 interceptions and 65 passes defensed to the Saints 7 interceptions and 52 passes defensed.. The Saints have forced 17 fumbles while the Rams have forced 16. The number that excites me is the fact that the Rams have 35 sacks while the Saints have 23. You would figure a team that is winning a lot would put the opposition in a lot of passing situations and be able to build up their sacks, INTS and passes defended numbers. Just makes you wonder if Sam Bradford is in for a big day.
Bottom line, the talent level on this Rams team is much better than the Browns and Cardinals and if we can stay turnover free and keep the penalties down, the Saints can be had.
LETS GO RAMS!! (oh yeah, and let's go niners...........ugghh)