This Sunday’s Rams game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Edward Jones Dome is not a “must win” for the team but the Rams will surely have to approach it that way in order to come away with a win and reverse their early season misfortune.
In the week after the embarrassing loss to the New York Giants the focus in practice for head coach Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams was on red zone execution. That’s an area that has been the teams’ achilles heel in the early going - resulting in their 0-2 start. Things will not get any easier this Sunday as Baltimore boasts one of the toughest defenses in the league with linebacker Ray Lewis and company.
In the 28-16 loss to the Giants on Monday Night Football the Rams were inside New York’s 10 yard line on three occasions and came away with nine points.
In week one St. Louis converted two opportunities in the red zone into a TD and FG in a 31-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rams faced first and goal at the one yard line on two occasions versus the Giants and were unable to score a TD either time. Either the Giants were just that much better than the Rams or the offensive line is simply not coming off the ball with power in short yardage situations and giving running backs some room to maneuver. The importance of the Rams’ being able to execute against the Ravens has not gone unnoticed by the players or the coaching staff.
“It comes down to execution,” “I’ve got to get better. I missed a couple of throws this week that would’ve resulted in touchdowns. When you get down there it’s just too important in this league that you score touchdowns and not field goals,” said Rams QB Sam Bradford. Coach Spagnuolo said, “the focus for the week was to play faster on both sides of the ball.”
Red zone ineptness is not the only concern in Rams camp for this weekend‘s game against the Ravens. We’ve talked often about fundamentals in the aftermath of the Rams’ two disappointing losses to start their season. In the game against the Giants last Monday night running back Cadillac Williams’ major blunder of a lateral pass by Rams QB Sam Bradford led to a Giants touchdown and totally changed the complexion of the game.
Baltimore brings an intimidating defense to town on Sunday and will not provide a host of
opportunities to get into the end zone. The Ravens have a major attitude after a disappointing 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday in what was supposed to be an “easy win.” To pull out a victory the Rams offense, particularly the offensive line, must equal the intensity of the Ravens defense and play near flawless ball and limit the number of mental lapses.
All things considered the Rams defense has held their own in the first two games of the season. Many of their opponents’ points have come as a result of turnovers or short field position.
Ravens’ QB Joe Flaco and his receivers are not clicking on all cylinders as they adjust to the new offense recently installed by head coach John Harbaugh. Flaco has a QB rating of 82.8 with 4 TD and 2 INT. The Rams’ defense should be able to hold the Ravens in check and give Bradford and the offense a chance win this game.
Conversely fatigue could be a factor considering the Rams’ short week and give the edge to the Ravens. But if the Rams execute better in the red zone this Sunday and limit the number of mistakes made in the first two games they should be able to notch their first win of the season on Sunday`… Of course that’s a HUGE “if”…
About the Author
Written by Chaz Ingram
During his lengthy career Chaz has worked in various areas of the media. As an actor he has appeared on such shows as "Less Than Perfect" "CSI New York" and "Outlaw". He's performed on stage in such plays as "West Side Story", "The Wiz" "Oliver" and "Sugar". He has also landed roles in several commercials most notably as a reporter for "NFL Legends" and as a model for Ameriquest Mortgage. Chaz's extensive background in the broadcast industry has given him invaluable experience in several areas of the business. His work as an assignment desk intern as well as in the news and sports departments at the local ABC and NBC TV stations in St. Louis, MO has given him experence on various levels of news production. Chaz is a former host of of his own radio show "The Spirit of Chaz", where he was also writer and producer at KXEN in St. Louis. As a Marketing Consultant at KSDK-TV (NBC) Chaz was a major contributor to the station's #1 position in overall sales in the St. Louis market. At KEZK radio he was awarded "rookie of the year" for his achievements in sales. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Chaz as one of their "40 Under 40" awardees for his work in the community with youth. Additionally, St. Louis public Schools recognized him as "Role Model of the Year" in 1995 & 1996. He is the recipient of the 1989 edition of "Outstanding Young Men of America". Chaz currently resides in Los Angeles where he owns Nicolexis Inspirations a motivational and life coach company.