The Jets' season hasn't gone according to plan thus far. Many expected the Jets to be a playoff contender after going 8-8 last season, but they have been wildly inconsistent. They've won in blowouts (48-28 against the Bills and 35-9 against the Colts) and they've been blown out (most recently 28-7 in Seattle and 30-9 against Miami).
The Rams sport a similar record, but the season doesn't have the same feeling of failure. The young and rebuilding Rams have played well under new coach Jeff Fisher. Coming off of a bye week, they played one of the best teams in football (the 49ers) to a tie and were in a good position to win.
With both teams notching three wins at this point in the season, this will be an interesting game with the loser losing any glimmer of hope for the rest of the season. Here's a breakdown of Sunday's AFC-NFC matchup.
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
When: Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Listen: 98.7 ESPN New York and the Jets Radio Network; 101.1 ESPN WXOS St. Louis and the Rams Radio Network
Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket
Spread: Rams -3.5 (via Covers.com)
At this time last year, you would have never expected the Rams to be favored over the Jets. The fact that they are now is a testament to their improvement and the decline of the Jets franchise.
The Rams showed they still have plenty of fight left in them despite a grim outlook for the postseason. San Francisco isn't an easy team to play with and the Rams went toe to toe with them for four quarters and overtime to get the tie.
If they can play like they did last week and eliminate some of the mental errors that cost them, they'll win this one easily.
The Jets are a mess. They can't seem to find any sense of identity offensively and the defense isn't nearly as dangerous or dominant as it has been in seasons past. The Rams look like the pick here.
Over/Under: 38.5 (via Covers.com)
The over/under for this game has been set at 38.5 which also doubles as the lowest over/under of the day. Simply put, neither team is an offensive juggernaut.
For all the hype surrounding the arrival of Tim Tebow, the Jets offense has remained stagnant and Tebow has remained on the bench.
Running back Shonn Greene has had moments of glory, but the offense has been fleeting. Jeremy Kerley is the only option that has shown promise in the passing game and Mark Sanchez has been subpar at best.
The Rams have been a bit better on the offensive side of the ball, but not by much. Steven Jackson has definitely lost a step and Sam Bradford has been mediocre. Expect a low-scoring affair.
Injury Report (via USAToday.com)
Stephen Hill, WR, Probable (Illness)
Kenrick Ellis, DL, Doubtful (Knee)
Joe McKnight, RB, Doubtful (Ankle)
Bilal Powell, RB, Questionable (Concussion)
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Probable (Leg)
Austin Pettis, WR, Questionable (Toe)
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Questionable (Disciplinary)
Chris Givens, WR, Questionable (Disciplinary)
Eugene Sims, DL, Questionable (Knee)
Darian Stewart, DB, Questionable (Knee)
Fantasy Big Plays
New York: Shonn Greene, RB
If you are relying on one of the Jets to carry your fantasy team, chances are your fantasy team has about the same record as the real-life Jets. Finding a fantasy MVP on this team is nearly impossible.
That being said, Shonn Greene should have some upside this week. He hasn't been flashy this season, but he does get a good workload from week to week and that should be the case against the Rams.
If Greene gets over 15 carries this week, he should be good for double digit fantasy points. The Rams run defense is below average and it surrendered over 100 yards to Frank Gore last week.
Projected Stats: 20 carries, 80 yards, 1 TD
St. Louis: Danny Amendola, WR
Danny Amendola is one of the more underrated names in fantasy football at this point.
If it weren't for a collarbone injury that cost him three-and-a-half games this season, he may have been one of the biggest names in fantasy this year. A lot of receivers have got the "next Wes Welker" tag, but Amendola has lived up to it.
Coming back from the injury last week, Amendola had 11 receptions for 102 yards. The diminutive Amendola isn't necessarily a red-zone threat because of his stature but he's good for consistent yards and is a must-play in PPR leagues especially.
Projected Stats: 8 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD
Key to Victory
Offensively, these two teams are fairly similar. Both rely heavily on the running game to move the ball and keep them in the game.
Neither Mark Sanchez nor Sam Bradford is going to be going into shotgun and leading his team down the field on a consistent basis a la Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. This game will come down to which offensive line can open up more holes for Shonn Greene or Steven Jackson.
The Jets could utilize Tebow to get an added boost in the run game, but they don't appear to be interested in playing him much outside of special teams.
Expect this to look more like an old school Big Ten game; the team that wins the rushing battle will win the game.
When it comes down to it, the Jets are a disaster right now.
They haven't won a game in over a month, they have no offensive identity and they refuse to make any changes that may give them a spark (perhaps starting one Timothy Tebow).
The Rams on the other hand, don't have the greatest record but they play hard every week. They're a young team in general but Steven Jackson has been reliable and Sam Bradford has played well in spurts.
Expect St. Louis to take care of business at home.
Final Score: St. Louis 20, New York 7