Rams vs. Colts: Preview and Prediction

By Eric Smith
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams (3-6) will travel east on Interstate 70 to Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend to take on the Indianapolis Colts (6-2). Both teams are heading in opposite directions.

The Rams have lost three in a row and are going into the third straight game with backup quarterback Kellen Clemens since franchise quarterback Sam Bradford is out of the year. Clemens is just a game manager as he is only 37-for-70 this year with 387 yards and one touchdown. He’s been sacked seven times and has thrown two interceptions.

That has to have the Colts’ defense salivating at the mouth as they’re very good at getting to the quarterback. They’ve played against very good receivers in the past two games with guys like Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Andre Johnson lining up against them. Indianapolis went 2-0 in those games.

Now they face a very inconsistent Rams receiving corps led by tight end Jared Cook. The main receivers are young, featuring rookie Tavon Austin and another guy in his early years Austin Pettis. Those two have six touchdown receptions combined, but don’t hurt teams consistent enough. If Robert Mathis and company can get a good pass rush and the corners can play tight man coverage, it could be a long day for the Rams’ offense.

Don’t think that this game will be an easy rout for the Colts though. They’re coming off of three straight prime time games and have another next Thursday night. That’s four in five games. It’s easy to overlook this Rams team since they’re in a slump and have a big prime time game at another division rival in just four days after the game, but this has trap game written all over it.

The Rams will struggle to score, but it may not be easy for the Colts to do so either. St. Louis ranks ninth against the pass as they have a very good pass rush. Robert Quinn already has 10 sacks on the year as his counterpart Chris Long has another 5.5 himself. That duo tore up the Seattle Seahawks a few weeks ago.

With how poorly the Colts’ offensive line did in protecting Andrew Luck on Sunday night against the Houston Texans and how good of a pass rush the Rams have, combined with a trap game where the emotions won’t be anywhere close to the past three games, and you have a possible upset situation.

The Rams can control the clock with running back Zac Stacy and deflate the crowd. They may not necessarily score much, but they can keep drives alive and the crowd out of it. St. Louis has been in close games recently as they barely lost to Seattle 14-9 two weeks ago and lost another one-possession game to the Tennessee Titans 28-21 last Sunday.

This game is going to be closer than expected, but the Colts just have too many playmakers and winners on their team to allow a bad loss at this point of the year. This game will be managed by Luck as a defensive play or two by the Colts will seal the victory.

Prediction: Indianapolis 24 — St. Louis 16

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