This young St. Louis Rams team is certainly a work in progress. Week to week, inconsistent play is an issue that will continue to be addressed by Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams staff. But one thing has been established: after losing 14 straight home games, the Rams have now won three in row in the Dome. Winning at home has become more comfortable and now it’s time to take this new found confidence out on the road. For the Rams to take that next step towards respectability, what better place than Tampa, where the Bucs are coming off a difficult loss to the defending champion New Orleans Saints.
Road wins are tough to come by, especially this year in the NFC West. Only the Arizona Cardinal’s win at St. Louis back in Week One, along with the Seattle Seahawks victory last week in Chicago are all the division has to show in the win column thus far. The Rams have shown some signs they’re starting to handle the pressure that comes with playing away from home. In Oakland, they harassed Raider quarterback Jason Campbell throughout the first half and held a 7-3 lead. But when Campbell was replaced at halftime by fan favorite Bruce Gradkowski, the Rams didn’t adjust and eventually lost the game.
To stay in the hunt in the NFC West, much less make the playoffs, St. Louis is going to have to win a couple away from home. Of the remaining road games, this week’s game may be their best shot. Tampa Bay is young, personified by their second-year quarterback, Josh Freeman. Like the Rams, Freeman is also a work in progress, but has begun to show signs of real leadership. The Rams will need to take an aggressive, almost desperate attitude into this game and keep it for the remainder of the season. Last week, St. Louis became too cautious, especially on offense in the second half against the Chargers. That can’t happen this week or else the Rams will dip back below .500 once again.
About the Author
Written by Chad Craghead
A 1988 graduate from Wichita State University, Chad has followed WSU as well as Kansas State athletics for over 30 years, along with being a lifelong Boston Red Sox and L.A./St. Louis Rams fan.