Rams offense 22nd overall (27th passing, 12th rushing); scoring- 32nd- 6.8 ppg. vs. Jags defense 30th overall (30th passing, 18th rushing); scoring- 24th- 25.4 ppg.
The Rams have had somewhat of a revolving door at quarterback this year, as starter Marc Bulger has played sparingly in two of the last three games, before being ineffective in the Rams first two losses. Backup Kyle Boller suffered a concussion last week and was erratic in the games he played. Bulger will likely start this week or the team will be forced to turn to third-stringer Keith Null, who's yet to play in an NFL game.
The Rams offensive line has already got two quarterbacks injured in five games, and the Jaguars should have an advantage at the line of scrimmage. Derrick Harvey should be able to get pressure against Alex Barron, who has been a first-round disappointment at left tackle. If the Jaguars can get heat on Bulger or whomever is playing quarterback, they will make mistakes. That said, the Jaguars are tied for last in the NFL with just four sacks this season.
Running back Steven Jackson is one of the most explosive backs in the league, as he combines speed and power and can run inside or outside. "Action Jackson" has 451 yards on the season in 104 attempts, and is the best playmaker the Rams have.
The best and usual course of action is for opponents to stack up the box to stop Jackson. The Jaguars have done a solid job against the run this year, but Jackson gashed them for 179 yards in their last meeting back in 2005.
The Rams wide receiver corps isn't going to scare many opposing defensive coordinators, as leading receiver Donnie Avery has 18 catches for 196 yards, and journeyman Laurent Robinson has 13 catches for 167 yards. Both are solid compliments, but neither is a true number one guy. 30-year old tight end Randy McMichael is having a solid year with 13 catches.
As long as the Jaguars secondary doesn't have a major breakdown, this should be one of their easiest assignments all year.
Jags offense 15th overall (18th passing, 13th rushing); scoring- 23rd- 19.4 ppg. vs. Rams defense T25th overall (25th passing, 23rd rushing); scoring- 31st- 29.2 ppg.
With Maurice Jones-Drew's comments about the Jaguars offense not focusing enough on the run, the St. Louis Rams may be the perfect team for the Jags to face. Jones-Drew and the Jaguars offensive line should have their way against a smaller, mostly ineffective Rams defensive line that's led by pass rusher Leonard Little, who has 11 tackles, three sacks, and two tackles for loss. Last season's first-round pick Chris Long has been solid against the run, but has no sacks thus far this year after just four as a rookie. Defensive tackles Cliff Ryan and Gary Gibson are just guys.
The Rams linebackers are led by rookie James Laurenitis, who has been a nice surprise early on with 40 tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception. Will Witherspoon has been solid (29 tackles, two tackles for loss, and one forced fumble), and Paris Lenon is just a guy at OLB.
The best player in the Rams secondary is safety O.J. Atogwe, who is one of the most underrated safeties in the game and has 30 tackles, one sack, and an interception. Playing opposite Atogwe is veteran James Butler, and the corners are Jonathan Wade and Ron Bartell.
Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt should be able to beat up on the Rams corners, and Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis should be a great matchup over the middle of the field as he's a mismatch for both the Rams linebackers and safeties.
Kicker Josh Brown has connected on just two of five field goals, but punter Donnie Jones is averaging 47.9 yards per punt (42.3 net). Danny Amendola handles both kickoff and punt return duties, and averages 22.4 ypr (kickoff), and 7.6 ypr (punt).
The Jaguars coverage units have been solid this year, and they shouldn't allow any big returns.
Jaguars vs. Rams Matchup Analysis
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