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If Rams get a pick, they're pick to win
Eric Goska column:
Imagine Brett Favre has yet to throw his first interception of 2006. Imagine also that cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson and the rest of the Green Bay Packers' defense have intercepted eight passes.
It's fantasy football to be sure, but think what the Packers' record might be if were true.
The St. Louis Rams don't have to wonder. Quarterback Marc Bulger has not thrown an interception and the defense has picked off eight passes to tie the Ravens for the NFL lead.
The Rams' ability to avoid and create interceptions is a major reason why the team leads the NFL in turnover differential at plus-10. It also helps explain why the Rams (3-1) are tied with the Seahawks atop the NFC West standings.
Bulger ranks fourth in the NFC with a passer rating of 94.3. He's attempted 141 passes without an interception.
A sixth-round draft pick by the Saints in 2000, Bulger has thrown 186 passes without an interception dating to last season. It's the best streak of his career, the longest active streak in the NFL and the second longest run in team history behind Roman Gabriel's 206 straight from 1968 to 1969.
In two games against the Packers, Bulger has thrown five touchdown passes and three interceptions. Harris, Marques Anderson and Ahmad Carroll had the picks.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams came up with 13 interceptions in 16 games last year. They have eight this year, led by cornerback Fakhir Brown and free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who each have two.
The Rams' secondary has three new starters under first-year defensive coordinator and former Saints coach Jim Haslett. Gone are safety Adam Archuleta, safety/wide receiver Mike Furrey and cornerback DeJuan Groce. Of the four who started the last four games in the secondary a year ago, only cornerback Ron Bartell, who replaced an injured Travis Fisher for the final seven games, remains with the team.
This year's starters are Brown, Atogwe, Fisher and free safety Corey Chavous. The group has five interceptions.
St. Louis is 9-2 since 2005 in games when it intercepts at least one pass, including 3-0 this year. The Rams have converted their eight interceptions into 23 points.
Overall: Rams lead 44-40-2.
At Lambeau Field: Packers lead 8-4.
Packers: Brett Favre (140-85 overall; 6-2 vs. St. Louis).
Rams: Marc Bulger (31-17 overall; 1-1 vs. Green Bay).
Once a Ram, now a Packer
Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (2001-05) is a former Ram. Guard Tony Palmer was selected by the Rams in the seventh round of this year's draft.
Once a Packer, now a Ram
Guard Adam Timmerman (1995-98) and running back Tony Fisher (2002-05) are former Packers.
Wide receiver Isaac Bruce is looking for a third consecutive 100-yard receiving day against the Packers. Randy Moss is the only player to gain 100 or more yards receiving in three straight games against Green Bay.
Re: If Rams get a pick, they're pick to win
The mysterious piece of the puzzle for this game is Linehan. Will he play the patient field position game or open it up like he did vs. the Lions. Mike McCarthy HC of the Pack was the OC of the Whiners last year. He has also worked with Haslett in the past. I'm guessing McCarthy will run the ball alot. After the success the Whiners had running the ball against us last year at the Dome. Ahman Green is banged up but they may not matter. The back up V. Morency ran for 99 yards last week at Philly. As dangerous as Favre can be he can also gamble to much. We need to contain the run and have Favre throw the ball early and often. McCarthy is trying to get Favre used to the dink and dunk offense. I for one don't think Favre has the patience for that.
Our linebackers will have to have big games here and force the Pack out of the dink and dunk or like I said hopefully Favre will get bored and start his long ball arsenal early.