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That and being able to work through their bunch formations to bring Woods, Kupp, and Co. down before killing us with YAC.This is going to be the key to turning them into a pedestrian offense. This has always been Goff's achilles heel, and will continue to be. He's apparently uncoachable when it comes to not being afraid of the rush.
I've never gotten to deep into the stats before, but according to pro football reference we are #2 in qb pressure percentage, behind only the steelers. And while the Rams are near the top in sacks, they are near the bottom in pressure %. I haven't been able to watch the games as attentively this year, does this pass the eye test for anyone? I've thought we've had some decent pressure at times, but mostly inconsistent.
So what do we do. My mind goes back to a game where the Pats were in Pittsburgh and they had the best defense in the league and they had been DOMINANT against the run. So what did the Pats do. They came out with an offense that featured a NO huddle, 5 wide set, and simply passed them to death. Anyone else remember that game???
So here's the thing. The Rams are already great at stopping the run Given the short week I can only surmise that when you you are playing against a team who's passing attack is beyond abysmal, you just strengthen your already great run defense. But here's the thing. Cam is averaging about 70 passing yds a game over the last 2 games and a lot of that yardage came from YAC on throws at or behind the LOS. Pretty scary, right? BUT Cam is also the same QB who threw for 350+ against the Texans, and close to 400 against Seattle.
So folks, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Pats decide NOT to pound their head against a defense (likely some kind of 8 man front that will look like a 4-4) and air it out.
Look maybe they might try and run the ball (our strength against your strength kind of thing), but they WILL have some kind of offense that will say "hey, I'm not crazy OR stubborn" And the only way we are going to win this game is by having the Offense score over 25 points, and they will have to do a LOT of that through the air. BTW, my impression was that the Rams were predominately a zone team in their coverage. Can anyone confirm or deny this impression?
Depends. We'll obviously need to pass to some degree, it's just weighing how much risks will be taken. Do we take care of the ball and try to play field position or actually try to throw downfield? I'm guessing they'll try for the former.While it does seem far fetched that we would align in a 5 wide set, but the fact is that any team can scheme to stop another team's run game. Even bad run defense teams. This team isn't bad. So how long can you run into brick walls before you HAVE to spread them out.
BTW- for this game I'd rather use the RPO look to run my play action passing game, rather than a standard fake to a RB which has the QB with his back turned to the defense. Let Can ride the RB into the LOS, and THEN pull back an throw. This way he will have a good look at the rush and pattern options from the snap of the ball.
Not questioning any of your assessments, but here's the thing. Which would you rather do, play a close the vest, predominantly run oriented game and almost certainly lose by 7-10 points in an ugly game, OR swing for the fences and take advantage of run stacked formations and create mismatches and use tempo to actually try and win the game with the risk of being blown out.In order to go no huddle and spread the field, you need a QB that can anticipate, make accurate passes into tight spaces and make quick decisions.
Cam can't do any of the above. It's a recipe for disaster.
Interesting that you chose the Texans game as your exemplar. That's an astute observation. I STILL think that the mediots are missing the point on this game. They all seem to want to put it all on the Pats for a loss to a team with a worse record than they had, when it reality it took a once a season fantastic game by Deshon Watson for the Texans to escape with a one touchdown win. There might have been a few individual game performances that were better than the one Watson hadin that game, but I'd wager they'd number half a handful. I thought he was THAT good.....and he needed to be to win that game. JMHOI think offensively this game will be more similar to the Texans game. There is not reason to stick with the run if the opponent has the mathematical advantage through personnel/scheme against it. Because it also means we should have an edge in the pass game. Clearly today will be a game where there is not much margin for dropped passes like Jakobi early last week, overthrown screens or outside the numbers passes or screw-ups in protection.
To me the big questions that will decide this game will be:
a) Can we limit the success the Rams have in their running game on early downs ? The last few weeks have looked significantly improved and now lets see what they do against a heavy zone run scheme.
b) Can we deal with blitz pickups on offense efficiently and punish the Rams into stepping away from doing that as frequently as the Texans did ?
c) Can we win the turnovers ?
We shouldn't be favored to win the game but at the same time it is absolutely winnable. Lets hope this crazy wildcard ride can go on for at least another week.
I understand about pushing the envelope, but it's sure disaster in my opinion.Not questioning any of your assessments, but here's the thing. Which would you rather do, play a close the vest, predominantly run oriented game and almost certainly lose by 7-10 points in an ugly game, OR swing for the fences and take advantage of run stacked formations and create mismatches and use tempo to actually try and win the game with the risk of being blown out.
We have had a number of VERY close games that we've lost this season, and a blowout like the Niners game. The thing is that each count the EXACT same in the schedule.
We wouldn't be 6 point underdogs after a 45-0 win on the same field if there weren't a LOT of factors that seem to favor the Rams, If not a 5 wide spread offense, lets at least push the ball down the field this week from other formations