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Saintswrath 12-08-2010 09:49 PM

Key players from Saints and Rams for week 14
 
THREE KEY PLAYERS FOR RAMS

RB Steven Jackson. The hard-running veteran is 15 yards away from his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, and his 27-yard touchdown run last week helped the Rams pull away from Arizona. Jackson has battled a series of nagging injuries in recent years, including a current hand injury. But he consistently fights through them and runs with a punishing style that makes defenses work all day against him. Last year, the 6-2, 236-pounder nearly led the Rams to an upset over New Orleans, running for 131 yards and a touchdown in a 28-23 loss.

DE Chris Long. The former No. 2 overall draft pick is starting to bloom in his third NFL season. He has six sacks and two forced fumbles over the past seven games. The 6-3, 276-pounder combines speed, athletic ability and power. Drew Brees is extremely difficult to sack because he sees the field so well and makes quick, smart throws. Long will try to force him into some bad throws, at the very least.

CB Ron Bartell. The Saints tried to lure Bartell away from St. Louis in free agency last year before he opted to re-sign with the Rams. The Saints decided to “settle” for standout cornerback Jabari Greer. Bartell hasn’t intercepted a pass the past two seasons. No NFL team tests cornerbacks like the Saints because of their depth at receiver. The sturdy Bartell (6-1, 206) could help keep Marques Colston in check, and he can hold his own against speedier threats like Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson.




THREE KEY PLAYERS FOR SAINTS

RB Chris Ivory. The rookie should still be the Saints’ lead runner this week even if Pierre Thomas (ankle) returns. Ivory, a power runner at 6 feet, 222 pounds, has scored five touchdowns over the past three games, including a 55-yarder at Cincinnati on Sunday. Ivory does most of his damage by lowering his shoulders and plowing over people, but he also has showed speed and elusiveness. He has had problems with fumbles, including one last week, and he still needs to learn the nuances of the game, especially on passing downs. But he has added yet another dimension to the Saints’ versatile offense.

WR Marques Colston. Any one of the Saints’ receivers is liable to have a breakout game, but Colston remains the go-to guy, and he’s quietly having one of the best seasons of his career with 71 catches for 875 yards and five touchdowns. Colston (6-4, 225) is a difficult matchup for smaller cornerbacks because he can use his size to box them out, and his range and hands allow him to catch balls that are high, low and behind him.

DE Will Smith. The Saints have not been getting enough pressure in recent weeks, but it’s unlikely they’ll bring the house against Bradford. Coordinator Gregg Williams prefers to disguise alignments and schemes to confuse young quarterbacks. That means it’s even more important for Smith to create pressure from the right end. He has just 3.5 sacks this year after a career-best 13 last season. A lot of that has to do with game situations, but the Saints also have failed to capitalize the past three weeks against QBs who’ve stood in the pocket and looked downfield.

BOTTOM LINE

The Rams are a nice story, but if the Saints have aspirations of returning to the Super Bowl, they must win this game. They should be able to do it convincingly after their recent uneven performances. The Saints’ offense has been firing on all cylinders over the past month or so; if it doesn’t turn the ball over or make sloppy mistakes, it’s hard to imagine the Rams being able to keep up on the scoreboard.


Read more: Week 14 matchup: St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints - NFL - Sporting News

st thomas 12-08-2010 11:15 PM

COLSTON IS HAVING EXCEPTIONAL YEAR. BESIDES A FEW DROPS HES IN COMMAND. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SAY ABOUT IVORY, PLASTERER.
WILL SMITH; WELL, NO COMMENT.

AsylumGuido 12-09-2010 09:13 AM

Bartell suffered a stinger in last week's game against the Cards. He did not participate in practice yesterday. He may not take the field Sunday, and if he does one would think he would be a bit more vulnerable. The Rams' starting free safety, Oshiomogho Atogwe, also sat out practice Wednesday having suffered a shoulder injury himself.

AsylumGuido 12-09-2010 09:23 AM

In addition, CB's Justin King (shoulder) and Jerome Murphy (hammy) were limited in yesterday's practice, as was their starting SS, Craig Dahl. They also lost starting OLB Na'il Diggs for the year with a torn pectoral against the Cards. Second year CB, Bradley Fletcher is the only healthy starter in the Rams' secondary.

You know that Brees is licking his chops over this.

TheOak 12-09-2010 10:05 AM

Brees better keep his peas and rice separated. Thank the lord the manning boys Bighead and Dopey are having a dysfunctional season or Brees would be atop the interception leader boards. All that separated him from the top is Dopy and Mr Junk on the phone Favre.

darstep 12-09-2010 10:19 AM

If the Rams are banged up, that should give us some real separation in our ability to take control of the game on both sides of the ball. We are getting healthier and they are beginning to fall to pieces. No sympathy - No mercy. 42-13 victory would be very nice platform to ready for our two week road trip.

ScottF 12-09-2010 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido (Post 268424)
In addition, CB's Justin King (shoulder) and Jerome Murphy (hammy) were limited in yesterday's practice, as was their starting SS, Craig Dahl. They also lost starting OLB Na'il Diggs for the year with a torn pectoral against the Cards. Second year CB, Bradley Fletcher is the only healthy starter in the Rams' secondary.

You know that Brees is licking his chops over this.

hell, I'm licking Brees' chops over this, too

Rugby Saint II 12-09-2010 05:59 PM

This should be one of our better games.

lumm0x 12-09-2010 10:51 PM

The heart attack games are growing old. I want a blow out!

TheOak 12-10-2010 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lumm0x (Post 268608)
The heart attack games are growing old. I want a blow out!

Be careful what you wish for. Do you remember what usually follows a week after a blow out?

Oct 17 NO 31 @ TB 6

Following week we lost to Cleveland

Nov 07 NO 34 @ CAR 3
Luckily we had a BYE following

I am just fine with the Heart Attack games as long as there is a W when the clock reads 0:00.

If we are going to Blow someone out, let it be on 6 Feb 2011 in Dallas.


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