While everyone is slowly getting over the tie from week 10, the St. Louis Rams have to put last week behind them and focus on their upcoming challenger. Even though the New York Jets have seen their fair share of issues this year, they remain a dangerous opponent with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Here is a look at just what areas the Rams need to focus on if they want to end up on the right side of the scoreboard this coming Sunday.
RUN THE BALL
And then run it some more. Steven Jackson had a bit of a breakthrough performance against the San Francisco 49ers and that was mostly due to his workload. S-Jax is one of those backs who improves with more carries, and the 29 totes he had in that game were by far his most of the season. The Jets run defense was once feared, but now leaves a lot to be desired. They are giving up 145.0 yards per game, which ranks 30th in the league and bodes well for the Rams rushing attack this week.
GET AFTER SANCHEZ
Quarterback has been the main focus in New York with their struggles and Mark Sanchez has been at the center of that criticism. Sure, he deserves some of the blame for their poor performances, but the real problem has been the offensive line. A once sturdy unit has deteriorated, allowing 22 sacks already this year and having Sanchez on the run frequently. For the Rams, getting Robert Quinn and Chris Long firing off the edges to apply pressure must be a focus on defense.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF
What has been the topic of conversation this week with the Rams is their discipline issues with respect penalties. Flags,along with turnovers, are the recipe for disaster and as always, taking care of the football is very important this week. Head Coach Jeff Fisher should have dedicated plenty of time this week in practice to cutting down on the mental errors that have plagues this team. If the Rams can eliminate their pre-snap penalties and play whistle to whistle, they stand a really good chance to pick up the victory this week.
Confidence has to be up even though the Rams did only tie the 49ers last week given San Francisco’s clout coming into that game. A win in this game wouldn’t be quite as monumental of an accomplishment, but it would be a step in the right direction for this franchise as they build for the future.
Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake