Getting Defensive - St Louis Rams
This Sunday the Carolina Panthers try to bring their record up to .500 for the second time in head coach Ron Rivera's career.
To do so, the Panthers defense will need to stifle Sam Bradford and the
Cleveland Los Angeles St Louis Rams offense.
The Rams are not a particularly good offensive team. They currently rank 23rd in total offense. By comparison, the Giants offense (who the Panthers shut out a few weeks ago) ranks 15th in the league. Carolina should be able to hold the Rams to under 10 points. Here is how....
- Apply pressure from the front four. This really is the key to this game. Sam Bradford currently has a 90.7 passer rating. That rating drops to 57.1 when playing under pressure. However, when being blitzed, Bradford scores a 112.1. This means that the Rams are a team well prepared for the blitz. The Panthers must apply pressure to Bradford while keeping its defensive backfield in tact. Carolina has the personnel on the defensive line to do so, lets hope for another Eli Manning'esque feeding frenzy.
- St Louis appears to have elevated Zac Stacy as their featured running back. Zac Stacy is the Rams version of Deangelo Williams at 5'8 and 215 pounds. This is actually an advantage for the Panthers defense, having faced Deangelo in practice throughout the week. Like Deangelo, Stacy is looking to find space to run and won't break many tackles. The Panthers linebackers have the speed and tackling ability to neutralize him provided they keep him contained on the edges.
Overall, he Rams are coming off of a road win over the Texans provided by their Defense and Special Teams. It will be an extremely difficult task for them to win two consecutive road games.
If the focused Carolina Panthers show up on Sunday, this should be an easy win.
If the unfocused Carolina Panthers show up on Sunday, well, we all know how that will end.