Rams vs. Cardinals: Halftime Observations for the Rams

Brad ReadSenior Writer INovember 6, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams walks out onto the field before the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

That was quite the interesting first half of play.

A battle of 1-6 teams has taken center stage in Arizona. Whoever ends up winning this game will double their season win total for the year. While this game might not have a lot of meaning for postseason play, there is still a lot on the line when conference foes battle.

The first half has been a bit of a slug fest with each team trading blows. Both teams got on the board early with a couple of field goals, and now we head into halftime with the Rams leading by a 9-3 score. Will St. Louis be able to win its second game in a row?

Here are five things that St. Louis must do to take control of the game in the second half against Arizona.


1. Pound the Ball to Jackson

Steven Jackson is a BEAST, and he needs to get the ball early and often in the second half. In order to win this game, the Rams have to control the clock through the running game. Jackson’s ability to run between the tackles forces Arizona to keep its linebackers in the box.  

This will open up play action opportunities that could lead to huge plays and scoring opportunities. The more carries Jackson gets the better he runs because he begins to wear down the defense. A heavy dose of Steven Jackson gives the Rams the best chance to get their second win.


2. Get the Ball to Brandon Lloyd

The reasons the Rams went out and got Brandon Lloyd was to have a big play receiver who could take over games. Lloyd is a unique receiver who can stretch the field with deep balls but also has the ability to be a possession receiver who can take control of football games.  

Sam Bradford is doing a great job of distributing the ball around, but he should focus getting the ball to Lloyd do to his big play potential.


3. Get Pressure on John Skelton

John Skelton is inexperienced as a starting quarterback, and the Rams need to expose his flaws. The defensive line needs to get pressure on Skelton and disrupt his timing with receivers. The more you hit him the more likely he will make a huge costly mistake. Take advantage of his inexperience and blitz him in the second half.


4. Make Huge Special Teams Plays

Great work so far. The Rams have done a great job in the kicking game and in the return game at this point. Patrick Peterson is a dangerous return man who you have bottle up and not allowed to get loose.  

St. Louis must not allow a huge return from Peterson in the second half because it will give life to a struggling team.


5. Win the Turnover Battle

While this is a key in every game, it is even more true today. With a backup quarterback in the game, you need to force turnovers and make him uncomfortable. Taking huge shots in the passing game can have positive dividends but the interception in the first half cannot be duplicated in the second.  

This game could come down to who has the ball last, and the Rams will make their life easier if they have more possessions.