Previewing an NFL game in one word is quite a challenge, especially when the game involves the St. Louis Rams. On any given week, it normally takes me around 600 words to adequately assess the keys/preview the Rams' upcoming game.
Last Thursday, Joe McAtee defined the 2014 Rams in a single word: Inconsistent. Seems pretty appropriate to me. To piggyback on that description of the 2014 Rams, "Consistency" is what I'll be looking for when the Rams face the 49ers on Monday Night Football. A consistent effort for the full 60 minutes. Consistently catching and holding on to the football. Consistently protecting the football and avoiding turnovers. Seeing consistent push and winning the battles in the trenches. Playing smart, disciplined football - while minimizing mistakes and penalties - right from the opening kick off through to the final whistle.
Earlier this week, Anthony Stalter and Randy Karraker of 101 ESPN shared their one-word previews of the Rams-49ers MNF game:
Anthony Stalter's one-word preview? Urgency. The Rams must get off to a fast start against the 49ers, build an early lead, and hold on to it for the remainder of the game. In their only victory this season - against Tampa Bay - the Rams were leading 10-7 at the half. The Rams won 7 games in 2013. They were leading at the half in 6 of those wins, and were tied at half-time in the other victory.
Randy Karraker's one-word preview? Gore. As in running back Frank Gore. Gore leads a potent 49ers ground attack, one averaging 145.0 yards per game (3'rd in the NFL). The Rams were much improved against the run in 2013, finishing 9'th in the league. In four games this season, the Rams have given up an average of 152.5 rushing yards per game (29'th in the NFL). Containing Gore will be a key to the Rams' fortunes on Monday night.
Consistency. Urgency. Gore. All are appropriate one-word summations of the Rams vs. 49ers. What one word would YOU use to sum up the game for the Rams?