There’s no doubt the St. Louis Rams have been playing from behind far too often so far this season. Digging deep holes on the scoreboard is never a sound strategy for winning games, and the Rams must avoid a similar fate in Week 6 to mount their first winning streak of the year. Getting up on the Houston Texans early and keeping the pedal to the metal is going to be a big key in finding success this Sunday.
With the way the Texans have been wobbling and the calls from fans to bench Matt Schaub growing in decibels, putting Houston in an early deficit would definitely be beneficial for the Rams in this road game. It’s hard to imagine Schaub is in the best state of mind currently after he made the wrong kind of NFL history with four straight games with a pick-six last week. Rattling him early on would go a long way toward getting a victory this weekend.
It’s hard to deny the Rams’ struggles defensively this season, but this game could provide the perfect opportunity to get on track. Getting pressure on Schaub in the pocket could be easier if both left tackle Duane Brown and guard Brandon Brooks are still gimpy come Sunday afternoon. Both Chris Long and Robert Quinn have been relatively quiet since a stellar Week 1, and they would like to have a party in the Houston backfield this weekend. The potential return of William Hayes to the defensive end rotation could add yet another element to the St. Louis pass rush on Sunday.
All of the keys for the Rams this week really work hand-in-hand as the team needs to get an early lead and force the Texans to play from behind. That in turn fuels the need for Houston to throw the ball and gives the Rams’ pass rush a better chance to pin its ears back and get after it. And obviously a stellar pass rush aids a suspect secondary as they won’t have to cover as long if Schaub is running for his life or thrown to the turf. Getting Houston into pass-first mode is the ideal recipe for getting a victory on Sunday.
And getting a lead will also help a rushing attack for St. Louis that was next to nonexistent up until last week when rookie Zac Stacy flashed some potential. He gets his second straight start against the Texans, and his brutish between the tackles running style would be ideal for grinding out the clock and protecting a lead.
Usually a game of 2-3 teams doesn’t bring much to the table, but both of these teams actually had relatively high aspirations entering the season. At the conclusion of this game one squad will likely have to start thinking ahead to next season already, and the Rams really don’t want that fate to be theirs.