There’s no denying just how good the Green Bay Packers looked this past week in primetime, but the St. Louis Rams were quite dominant themselves, just not on the scoreboard. When these two collide on Sunday, it will be a meeting of strength versus strength and weakness versus weakness. Both sides of the ball will feature some intriguing match-ups that could decide the game’s outcome.
RAMS D VS. PACKERS O
Obviously the strength on strength showdown features the Rams’ defense which held the Miami Dolphins to just 192 total net yards and the Packers’ offense which accumulated 427 against the previously undefeated Houston Texans in last week’s action. For the Rams, remaining disciplined and not over pursuing quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be vital. The defensive front has been great at pressuring opposing signal callers, but Rodgers’ escapability will allow him to be dangerous under pressure. If the Rams have any hope of containing the Green Bay offense, their D will have to come up large.
RAMS O VS. PACKERS D
Here is the weakness on weakness area and the Rams offense didn’t look all that weak against Miami. Sam Bradford threw for over 300 yards for the first time this year and the running game finally got going with Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson sharing the load. Green Bay’s defense recovered a bit last week as well with a solid showing against the Texans, but the Rams need to focus on neutralizing pass rusher Clay Matthews if they have any hope of moving the ball in this game.
This is the curveball of the group where the Rams need more of a psychological boost than anything. Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein missed three field goals last week which were his first misses of the season. Granted two of the attempts were from 50+ yards, but he has been automatic all year no matter the distance. Getting him confident early and often will be important in the Edward Jones Dome as the Rams look to stay undefeated at home this year.
These three areas will likely play a part in deciding who wins this showdown of 3-3 teams on Sunday. The Rams are just one game back in the NFC West so a win could present big implications for their postseason hopes looking forward in 2012.
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