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Game 10: Opponent Analysis: the Hawks
I'm not going to lie, folks; I've had to miss two weeks of OA this season because of other responsibilities. Those two weeks.......Saints and Browns.
I'm a little (read: lot) superstitious. So, it's against my better judgment but I'm going to present an Opponent Analysis this week. Fortunately, I will have my fingers crossed (which is making typing a little difficult) and I'm rubbing a rabbit's foot who had just eaten a 4 leaf clover. Let's see how it goes.
Run D vs. Lynch - Lynch has been hot of late, and we are DEAD last in run D, giving up 151 ground yards per game. However, we've given up less than 130 in 4 of the last 5 weeks averaging just 85.5 allowed in those 4 games. (For those curious, that 5th game was the Cowboys abomination when Canton began carving their DeMarco Murray bust.) Nobody wants to see injuries, but the Rams will be aided by the Hawks losing their RG and RT last week. The 2 rookies Moffitt and Carpenter had been playing solid ball, but are both lost for the year. See folks, it's not just our Rams dealing with the injury bug.
Pass D vs. T-Jack - On the season, Jackson has been serviceable. However, the past 4 weeks have not been his friend. Since their win over the Giants on October 9th, his yards per attempt have improved, but he has 0 TDs and 4 picks. He's moving the ball, but not finding paydirt. On the season, he's been sacked 22 times which is 8th most, and losing the right side of his line won't help. Chris Long should be an excited young man.
Pass Rush vs. Hawk O-line - Speaking of......the Hawk's O-line is letting Jackson get clipped at a rather high 8.0%. That's a higher number than one might expect from a mobile QB like Jackson. Not to mention, it's within spitting distance of Bradford's abysmal 9.2%. With Moffitt and Carpenter out, Chris Long should have his ears pinned back and ready to go. McQuistan and Giacomini aren't pushovers, but neither brings the nasty finishing power of Moffitt and Carpenter.
SJax vs. Hawks run D - The Hawks D is a fine wine...it gets better with time. This season they've given up 142 points in the 1st half, but only 60 in the 2nd half. The Rams need to hit them quick. Break it early S-Jax! And here's an odd steak: this season the Hawks have given up double digit ground yards in every odd numbered game, but triple digits in every even numbered game. This is game 10.
Bradford vs. Hawks pass D - The Hawks pass D has been solid. They're giving up only 212 air yards per game over the past month. They've got several young DBs that are looking like veterans: Sherman, Chancellor, Browner, et al. have done a solid job. However, hopefully Bradford will have some time. The Hawks pass rush is nothing spectacular led by Clemons 5 sacks. The team has a total of 14.
Rams vs. History - We've lost 11 of the last 12 to the Hawks. Sad but true
"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
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