The St. Louis Rams will host the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football in Week 6. We’ve learned a lot about both teams through the first five weeks of the regular season, making predicting how the game will pan out that much easier.
The St. Louis Rams’ defense will do the unthinkable. Austin Davis will do what he does best. Brian Quick will do something he’s never done...
The Defense Will Tally Four Sacks
While this doesn’t seem like an unachievable task, for the defense deemed "Sack City," the Rams have a league-worst one sack heading into Week 6. Currently on pace for four sacks in the entirety of the 2014 season, expect the Rams to ‘break out’ in a home game on Monday Night Football, sacking 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick four times before the night’s end. If for no other reason to believe in this one...they did it in Week 13 [in San Francisco] in 2013.
Brian Quick Will Eclipse 100 Yards Receiving For the First Time in His Career
He’s come close...twice. In 2013, Quick tallied 97 yards in Week 7 -- the last time Sam Bradford threw him a pass in a regular season game. Quick kicked off his 2014 campaign with a 99-yard effort against the Vikings. He’s yet to hit that triple-digit mark though, and that comes to an end next Monday night. Quick is having the "breakout" season many fans have been yearning for, and appears to be coming into his own this year. He’s established a great rapport with Austin Davis, and it’s clear he’s the team’s first [and best] downfield threat. Quick is currently on pace to finish the year with 1,288 reception yards. Expect that figure to increase when you check that projection next Tuesday morning.
Austin Davis Will Throw for 300+ Yards for the Third Straight Game
In the past two games [vs. DAL, and @PHI], Rams’ QB Austin Davis has thrown the ball a total of 91 times, and totaled 702 yards. Provided a sometimes shaky offensive line is able to give Davis a moment to find an open target, Davis should be in for another 300 yard performance. That’s not to say the Rams’ offense will gash the 49ers' defense in embarrassing fashion. It’s possible, maybe probable, the Rams find themselves trying to dig out of an early deficit.
Davis does his best [more like most] work when the Rams are behind. He’s thrown the ball 143 times in 2014. 105 of those have come when the team is trailing. In doing so he’s:
* Completed 66.7% of his passes
* Thrown for 833 [of his total 1,129] yards
* Thrown 4 [of his total 6] touchdown passes
* Completed 11 [of his total 13] pass plays of 20+ yards
* Averaged a 91.5% passer rating
With Zac Stacy dinged up, it’s uncertain whether the Rams will be able to effectively run the ball against the 49ers defense. With Quick, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, and Tavon Austin on the field, the Rams should be able to create enough matchup problems that Davis has another [third consecutive] stellar outing.
As an aside: Sam Bradford threw for 300+ yards seven times in 49 games.
Tavon Austin Will Have 200+ All-Purpose Yards
Every once in a while Tavon Austin likes to remind his detractors why he was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Being eased back into the lineup - after a nasty hit just prior to halftime in Week 2 - the second year receiver has had a [very] quiet start to the 2014 season. It doesn’t sound all that different than the start to his rookie season though.
But he had his completely unsuspecting moments in in 2013 though...
It wasn’t until the Week 10 against the Colts, though, when Tavon displayed the level of electric play he did as a WVU Mountaineer. In that game, he had an 81-yard TD reception [you remember?], and a 98-yard punt return for a score [I mean c’mon]. The following week [vs. Bears] he was at it again...[in case you did forget]. In those two games, Tavon totaled 443 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns.
He’s due. And that’s all you need to know. Pop the popcorn. Enjoy the show.
The Rams Win This Game in the Waning Moments Courtesy of a Comeback
The Rams went up three scores on the Cowboys in Week 3 but were unable to hold the lead, ultimately losing the game by a field goal. After the bye, they lost another close one on the road [six points] to the Eagles. Had a certain receiver - who may or may not wear No. 18 - held onto a couple of passes, the outcome may have been different. Regardless, neither of their opponents were walkovers and the Rams kept it close...whether they needed to maintain a lead, or catch up to someone else’s.
As aforementioned, Austin Davis has proven more than serviceable in crunch time. Down 30-24 with less than two minutes to play, Davis will get another chance to prove his crunch-time, comeback abilities.
It won’t come in spectacular deep-ball fashion, but with seconds left in the game and the Rams in the red zone, Davis is going to hit FB Cory Harkey in the flat. He’ll take it 13 yards for the score. The 49ers are too focused on the Brian Quick corner fade [run far better than it was vs. the Seahawks in 2013]. Ball Game.