And I still have concerns about this game. Don't get me wrong, we will win, but it will be a nail biter.It is still early in the season, we could still go 15-1 (I wish), but there are things that keep nagging me, and I don't just mean Tawn.
What's bothering me about this game is:
Since Detroit, we have won two games, lost another. We played well, but didn't dominate. For some reason, teams don't feel scared of the Rams unless we completely dominate our opponents. I know it's a small thing, but the psychological aspect of the game is still important. Other teams need to fear us...not just a little, but enough to make the other teams wet themselves in cowardice when they see the Rams come on the field.
Our offense is there...putting up the yards, the first downs, but not getting past the red zone. A lot of teams have the same troubles. It's not a lack of talent or desire, but for some reason, our opponents are able to read our plays better than they should. We have the manpower, the skill, and the coach to come up with the ideas. Yet, somewhere, the whole thing is breaking down. I'm not 100% convinced of this, but I think today we will see the beginning of the end to our red zone problems. Why? Well, one sore spot in the whole thing was the RT. Jackson could singlehandedly plow thru 5 or 6 defenders to score...but he needs blocks to open up holes. And, since there have been several comments made by Martz and some players concerning Barron, I wouldn't doubt that he may be on the field at some point today.
Our Defense has come a long way since last year. Little has his groove back. Arch doesn't seem apprehensive to make a big play. Coakley, Clairborne and the rest of the guys are playing seriously. Our weakest point is in the back...but they are even doing a decent job. Our defense is, for the first time in a couple of years, above average. Problem is, they can't do it alone. They need our offense to put up some TD's so we can win.
Special teams is better, too. Before anyone goes and starts saying they are still not making the big plays, look at it like this....are they making the stupid mistakes like last year, or are they finally getting the idea of holding on to the ball? Even if they are only average, it is still an improvement.
So why am I really concerned? It is a home game. The Rams might come onto the field with the wrong attitude...the attitude that they will win since it is in the EJD. They need to get the attitude that they will win because they are the better team and will earn the win. The old guys...Pace, Faulk, Arch, Bulger...they know this. The younger ones might not.
I see a Rams win....a hard fought, close win. This game will be good for us. It will reinforce what we learned in SF...no matter how good the numbers, every one on the field must give 100% and score some points to get the W.