Sunday's game at the Dome is a battle of teams with underachieving offenses. The Packers have been a disappointment with the football. The Rams have been just plain anemic in every category other than running the ball. And there's the key for the Rams--get the ball into Steven Jackson's hands as often as possible. That means the defense will have to get the Packers off the field. Opposing teams are dominating time of possession and keeping Jackson from doing more damage.
The Rams are 31st or 32nd in three of the four major offensive categories but are 20th in rushing yards per game. And their 5.2 yards per carry average is fifth best. Jackson's 127 yards gained after contact are second best in the NFL. And the Rams have had just two negative carries, fewest in the league. The conclusion? Steven has been good but is capable of doing more. The Rams need more snaps and time of possession. And this may be the week considering that Cedric Benson ran for 141 yards against the Packers last week. And Benson isn't nearly as explosive as Jackson.
Kudos to the Rams red zone defense for allowing a league-low 1.73 yards per play inside the 20. But the pass rush needs to improve and so does third down defense. The Rams need to get the Packers offense off the field this week. That is THE key to this game.
The Packers offense is way off of 2008 totals in almost every category. They are 28th in total offense, 25th in passing yards, and 23rd in rushing yards per game. And Aaron Rodgers has already been sacked a league-high 10 times. As I wrote in Monday's blog, this is a winnable game for the home team.