The Turf Show Times staff has their predictions for the Rams at Panthers Week 7 matchup:
Douglas M [@thenovelroad]:
The St. Louis Rams are on a bit of a roll, and winning one away from home - as they did in Houston - was nice to see. Back to back away games is a tough assignment, but Carolina is riding as high as the Rams right now, after they throttled Minnesota last Sunday. So I'd bet on emotion seizing the day, and young teams get down right giddy at times. The Rams have to show poise and patience. If they do, they win this one. But I don't think this game will be pretty, as each team regresses to former miscues that've marred them early on. I see INTs, penalties and fumbles playing a huge role in this game. The Panthers have a very talented running back corps, so the Rams' defensive woes against the rush could be key here. Also, DC will be wearing his "I Love Cam Newton" shirt, so...? Rams win by a Greg Zuerlein field goal: 20-17
Tevin Broner [@T_Bron]:
The Panthers could pose a problem for the Rams. Their defense is good against the run and Cam Newton can make things happen. It will be interesting to see if the Rams can pass the ball well against the Panthers weak secondary. Rams 20-17
Tyler Bishop [@TylerBishop]:
The Rams have turned the corner on many of there early-season mistakes and miscues. The Panthers are a rocky team that is always looking for an excuse to revert to a team with a losing record. If the Rams jump on them early it won't even be a game; however, the Rams are unable to keep them at bay and the game remains close. The Rams have more heart and pull out the win. Rams 24, Panthers 19.
Eddie P [@IAmEddieP_]:
I haven't had much trust in the Rams after the early season breakdown/disaster, but I have a feeling they will come out of this game with a win. While it still has to prove it can stop the run, the defense seems like it has learned to clamp down some. The offense has hit a bit of a stride with Zac Stacey totting the rock. That gives Sam some time to hit his beloved TEs. I'd love to see a Chris Givens deep bomb as well. It won't be easy, but 23-17 Rams.
Sergey Konyshev [@thatsergey]:
This is interesting to predict. Which Rams offense shows-up? The one committed to the run - and actually gaining yards - or the one playing catch-up 3/4 of the game? I can see both outcomes: Rams shutting down Newton and his entire offense, and Rams going three-and-out every possession while allowing TDs on defense. So let's split the difference… Rams 20, Panthers 20 F/OT, just like last year in San Francisco [but maybe this year all the WRs learn to line-up correctly].
Mike D [@dvond]:
The so-called vaunted Rams run offense is stifled by the NFL's 4th best run defense, forcing them to go back to throwing too much and turn the ball over a few times. The Panthers will run the ball up and down the field with Newton getting more than 300 total yards and Williams over 120 total yards. After the game, Tim Walton is quoted that they will practice this week. Jeff Fisher will be even-keeled, saying they will stick with a 50/50 run/pass split no matter what the score or situation, even though this team was built to be a bit more wide open on offense. Panthers 27, Rams 13
Joe Baccamazzi [@Joe_Mazzi]:
In a showdown of underrated defenses and enigmatic offenses, the Rams and Panthers should both struggle to consistently move the ball. With that being said, both will also make a few big plays. Former No. 1 overall picks and OROY’s, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton have yet to find their groove and will be under fire from opposing pass-rushes. Zac Stacy needs his recent production to continue for the Rams to have a chance. This game figures to be a close one and will likely come down to whichever team -- and quarterback -- makes fewer mistakes. Rams 23, Panthers 20.
Brandon Bate [@NoPlanB_]:
I think there are two very decisive keys to this game -- the Rams' ability to run the football, and their ability to pressure Cam Newton. If the Rams show some semblance of a running game, they should be able to stay on the field and sustain point-scoring drives. The concern? Running on the NFL’s 4th best run defense - in their house - will be no easy task. Still, the Rams must stick to the plan and maintain a balanced offensive attack. More pass attempts hasn’t equalled more wins for the Rams in 2013.Defensively, the Rams front four must get pressure. The Rams’ linebackers need to provide different looks. If you go back and look at the Panthers/Cardinals game [which the Cardinals won 22-6] you’ll notice constant pressure, linebackers and safeties lining up in the box, and blitzes…from everywhere. The ‘soft’ coverage we’ve seen in the early stages of 2013 won’t work this Sunday.
The Panthers have given up 6 sacks [Bills] and 7 sacks [Cardinals] in their respective games this season. Both teams won. The Rams need to get after Cam Newton, force him to make errant throws, and continue winning the turnover battle. I say they do this Sunday. Rams 23, Panthers 17.
Eric Nagel [@Eric_nagel]:
I honestly have no idea how this game is going to go. The Rams spent September getting destroyed, and my faith hasn’t been restored just yet after wins against powerhouses like Jacksonville and Houston.
Of course, Carolina is just as confusing. I’m a Rams fan. 30-22, Rams.
You can see a full preview/analysis of the Rams at Carolina matchup in RamFan1313’s Weekly Preview & Picks post. He’s got the Rams winning this one 17-13.
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