The rest of the 2013 season has the St. Louis Rams facing an uphill battle against some of the better teams in the league. While the Indianapolis Colts have lost Reggie Wayne for a torn ACL, they still found a way to win last week. Even though Andrew Luck lost his favorite weapon he found a way to win. The Colts defense is only giving up 19.4 points per game which is good enough to be the seventh-best defense. They do a good job of bending, but not breaking on the defensive side of ball as evidenced by their ranking in yards per game sitting at 22nd. Teams have been able to move the ball on them this year without finding the end zone very often.
Luck has fixed the interception problem that he had last that was worrying to many. He has thrown for 13 TDs and only three interceptions, so he is taking care of the ball much better this season. They have gotten off to a 6-2 start by forcing turnovers and limiting their own mistakes. The Colts haven’t been able to get anything going on the ground since trading for Trent Richardson. That bodes well for the Rams because of their porous run defense this year. Robert Quinn and Chris Long should be flying off of the edges to disrupt Luck’s timing all day. The Rams would do themselves a huge favor by mixing in plenty of different looks on defense to keep Luck guessing. He is a smart QB that can read defenses well and without Wayne catching passes he will be forced to spread the ball out more.
St. Louis will still have to find a way to win this week instead of letting the game slip away for the third straight week. The Colts’ pass defense has been able to grab eight interceptions this year so Kellen Clemens will have to take what the defense gives him. If he tries to force passes it could ruin the Rams chances. St. Louis has been winning the turnover battle for most of the season, but the Colts have done an even better job at limiting turnovers. A fumble or interception could be the difference on Sunday. Clemens should stick to what worked early in the game last week.
The offensive line will have to shut down Robert Mathis and his 11.5 sacks. After Mathis, the Colts’ sacks are pretty well spread out so he will be the key guy to protect against. While Clemens has shown mobility in the pocket he will have to learn to either take a sack or throw the ball away this week. St. Louis can not afford to turn the ball over at key moments if they hope to win. Its proven to be the finisher two weeks in a row.
Rookie Zac Stacy should see another busy week against the Colts’ defense. He is proving himself to be tough to tackle while acting like a bowling ball since Week 3. The scary part is that Stacy is getting more carries each week and getting better each game. St. Louis needs him in the game anytime they are in the red zone. He is the only legitimate running threat when the defense has their back against the goal line. If he is up to the task, Stacy should be looking at 25-30 rushing attempts this week. With the Colts defense ability to force turnovers he could see another week as a safety valve just a week after setting a career high in receptions, six, and receiving yards, 51.
St. Louis will have to run the ball to control the clock. Luck has a history of putting together game winning drives even though he is only in his second year. If the Rams can run the ball effectively it would significantly increase their chances. St. Louis can’t afford for another loss to come in the last minute of the game again. St. Louis has a chance at upsetting the Colts if they can stop Luck on offense and limit their turnovers. It could be an interesting game to watch.