With the Chargers coming off a terrible 35-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders and the Rams 44-6 drubbing to the Lions last week, not even the Amazing Kreskin or the most hardcore St. Louis Rams fan would have predicted that the Rams would completely dominate the San Diego Chargers, beating them 20-17 to go 3-3 on the season.
Today is Steven Jackson day in Tampa Bay! Steven Jackson needs 32 yards to pass Eric Dickerson for 1st place all time in Rams history when he reaches 7,246 yards rushing. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 31st against the rush, so look for Jackson to earn the record early in the games against the Bucs.
With a chance to get to 4-3 on the season, this is easily the biggest game for the Rams since 2006. The Rams really need a win here. The Rams' only road win in 2009 was against the Detroit Lions, and that is their only road win in their last 15 attempts. A win over the 3-2 Buccaneers and a home win over the currently winless Carolina Panthers would give the Rams a chance to go into the bye week at 5-3!
The Buccaneers are very similar to the St. Louis Rams. The Buccaneers are very young and are 3-2 and looking at this as a huge game for them as well. The Bucs' young QB Josh Freeman continues to play well and has a 83.4 QB rating much higher than Sam Bradford who is still ranked 30th in the NFL so do not overlook the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers also have a very young and unknown wide receiving core in Mike Williams, Sammie Stroughter, Arrelious Benn and Micheal Spurlock, much like the Rams.
Sam Bradford, who has given the St. Louis Rams a ton of confidence, and rookie wide receiver Danario Alexander, will look to make some big plays against the Buccaneers today. The Buccaneers have only four interceptions for the season. That along with the improved play from the Rams' offensive line and the balance of Steven Jackson running against the 31st ranked rushing defense should buy Bradford and the Rams' passing game a lot of time in the pocket. Look for the Rams to be very balanced and continue to use play action passing and roll-outs for Bradford to make some plays down field.
This is the game Rams fans have been waiting for. Sure it is the Buccaneers and not the Steelers, but at this point, we will take any win we can get and build off of it. I look for the Rams to play a complete and smart road game today. The Rams still rank 28th in points scored, so they will try to keep the game close. The running of Steven Jackson and 3rd down conversions will be huge. I look for the clock to move fast in the first half and the Rams to try and get deep into the game with a chance to win.
Prediction - St. Louis Rams 20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com
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