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Rams-Saints clash

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on October 21, 2005 at 4:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

The Rams find themselves in a "must win" situation Sunday against the Saints. They cannot fall to 2-5 and realistically hope to battle back to make the playoffs. Not with the meat of the schedule still ahead....The Saints will try to pound the ball at the Rams. They had success running against the Falcons stingy defense last week. They must be licking their chops to face the Rams defense that has surrendered an average of 42 points per game in the last three games....The turnover situation is getting out of hand---the Rams are already minus 9 in that category. Only the Saints at minus 11 are worse. The defense has got to find a way to start taking the ball away. Getting Chris Claiborne back on the field this week will help. He didn't play much the last two weeks against teams that use three wide receiver sets. The Rams are making it a priority to keep Claiborne on the field more often.....The Rams offense has got to stop handing the ball over. We've been saying that for about three years now. But, in years past, the Rams were explosive enough to overcome the turnovers. That was then....Look for Steven Jackson to get a ton of carries against the Saints. And for Jamie Martin to throw a lot of short and underneath type passes. The Rams had a lot of success with checkdown routes early against the Colts but started giving the ball away by forcing the ball into coverage down the field. I'd love to see Mike Martz/Steve Fairchild go back to the 2003 philosophy. Play more conservatively on offense and don't risk giving it away. It led to 12 wins in 2003 with a team very similar in make up to this one---young and inexperienced but athletic....Look for rookie guard Claude Terrell to get a lot more time this week. He'll be a fixture in the starting line up eventually. The only thing holding him back now is a lack of conditioning. He's been starting out well but not finishing as strongly.

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