On Sunday, the Rams will be trying to win their second game in two weeks and their third out of their last four. Standing in their way is Seattle. The Seahawks seem to have the momentum going into the game as they had a huge upset win over a tragically inconsistent Baltimore. Both teams suffer from ineffective offenses this season. Another similarity is inconsistent QB play. Sam Bradford has been in a funk/sophomore slump all year, and Tavaris Jackson has been very inconsistent. He is either good or horribly awful. His passer rating by game is as follows: 78.3, 82.4, 60.0. 96.3, 86.6, 69.1, 40.4, and 88.0. Both defenses are playing well and the talent level of each team is similar. This game will come down to which QB plays better, and that's why Tavaris Jackson is a player to watch. More after the jump.
The major problem that Tavaris Jackson presents is that he is a very good scrambling QB. The Rams have struggled with scrambling QBs this season. Michael Vick had 97 yards in week one and John Skelton had 38 yards on 4 carries. Opposing QBs have also been able to roll out and escape pressure from the Rams defense. This had led to some huge plays against the Rams.
This year, Jackson's rushing numbers are down from where they are usually at. He has 25 carries for 86 yards and 1 touchdown. Even though his rushing numbers aren't overly impressive, he still uses his rushing ability to move the pocket and escape pressure, an area in which the Rams defense has been exposed.
To combat his scrambling, the Rams will depend on their two good DEs in Chris Long and Robert Quinn. The Rams will be able to keep the dangerous Tavaris Jackson in the pocket if they can get pressure from the edge. The advantage of keeping Jackson a sitting duck is that he is not an overly effective passer. His completion percentage over his whole career is less than 60% and his career QB rating is 76.1. Those are pedestrian numbers at best.
Overall, the major point for the Rams to stop the Seahawks offense is stopping Tavaris Jackson from scrambling and making explosive plays, either with his feet or his arm. The Rams defense will have another good day at the office if they can keep Jackson "pocketed".