The St. Louis Rams got their first win of the 2014 season last week on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Who would have thought third-string Austin Davis would complete 22 of his 29 pass attempts? Surprise, indeed.
This week, the Rams are rallying behind
Shaun Hill Austin Davis again and are going after their first win at home versus the Dallas Cowboys.
Davis cannot do it alone, though. He's gonna need help from some of his weapons. The defense has to do its part too.
Five Players to Watch
"Stedy" is back!
The receiver - some viewed as the best receiver on the team - has been cleared to play; his four-game suspension under the former drug guidelines cut short. He was previously set to return after the Rams' Week 4 Bye.
Bailey is the purest route runner the Rams possess. He can create space to catch the ball by running crisp routes alone. Stedman has sure hands as well.
How much of a role Bailey plays this week is the question. His addition would be welcomed. He'd be a good compliment too, to go along with Brian Quick's recent "emergence." Two receivers catching passes is always better than one.
Speaking of two receivers catching balls, off season addition Kenny Britt has been awfully quiet so far. Preseason/Training Camp hype? I dunno...
His play has yet to transfer over to regular season games. If Britt can get his act together, he and Quick would give the Rams a big, physical receiver duo; a la Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery with the Chicago Bears.
Britt lit up training camp and the preseason. But as the sayings goes, anybody can look good in shorts/can he do it when it counts.
The Cowboy's DeMarco Murray has been the Rams' kryptonite the last few times they faced each other. With Murray's 167 yard performance last week, he should be Public Enemy No. 1 for the Rams' defense.
Stopping him all starts with the defensive line. Stuff up holes. Take on multiple blocks, freeing up your linebackers to make plays. Basically, this falls onto big Michael Brockers.
Shaun Hill was limited in practice again, so lets assume Davis will start against Dallas. He will be one of the keys to victory.
Against Tampa Bay, Davis actually threw a good amount of passes – more than the amount one would have thought.
If Austin can keep his composure, and repeat last week's performance – and maybe even add a touchdown or two – it'd be really tough for Fisher to sit Austin after the Bye Week.
James Laurinaitis/Alec Ogletree
If the D-Line cannot stop DeMarco Murray, it's up to these two guys – James Laurinaitis and Alec Olgletree. Both Laurinaitis and Ogletree struggle to get off blocks, thus struggle against the run.
The Rams have allowed an average of 171 rushing yards in these two first games. The last time Murray faced the Rams, he rushed for 175 yards. There is no way the Rams can allow DeMarco to rush for that amount this time around...
The entire front seven need to buckle down and stop Murray.