The St. Louis Rams come to town this week, and I noticed an interesting stat. The Rams play better at home than they do at away games. I guess we could say that about every team couldn't we? With the Rams that stat really sticks out. They also don't play well on natural turf. I would have to say they are indoor team that doesn't play well outside in the elements. This will also be their first game against an AFC opponent.
Bradford, for example, really struggles away from home. His yards per game goes down 70 yards, and he has only thrown one TD with a QB rating of 66.7 so far this year. Compare this to his home game stats and it is like night and day. At home he has six TDs and a QB rating of 90.9. He has five interceptions for the year, three at home and two on the road. His QB rating on grass is 39.2 and on turf it is 94.0. He's been sacked 15 times.
Sam Bradford has a completion percentage of 57 % for 1022 yards. Steven Jackson is their leading rusher with 271 yards on 77 carries. Danny Amendola is their leading wide receiver with 32 receptions for 395 yards. Although they are playing better than they did last year nothing really stands out for them, but winning three games against NFC opponents does say something about them.
Defensively they are led by James Laurinaitis with 39 tackles and Cortland Finnegan, who is second on the team in tackles and has three interceptions. It seems odd to me that a corner back would be second on their team in tackles, I could understand if a safety was the second leading tackler but a corner back? I don t get it. They have recorded eight interceptions, one fumble recovery, and 15 sacks.
Their kicker is light years better than ours he hasn't missed this year. He has nine field goals over 40 yards and four over 50 yards, with a long of 60 yards (can we work a trade for him with Carpenter?). Their punter is also averaging 49.5 yards with a net average of 41.2. They have not returned a KO or punt for a TD this year.
This is a big game for them, and they must be viewing us as a winnable game. Their next three games are against the Packers, Patriots, and the 49ers, so they need this game.
It's been a looong time since I have said this, but we are a better team than they are. This week it is them that are up against us! They don't play very well on natural turf, and they don't play as well on the road as they do at home. On paper we are much better than they are, but no one has ever won a game on paper. They are playing in Miami, and for those that don't know it is HOT down here. The Rams don't have many factors in their favor.
I have, however, been around long enough to know nothing I have written means a thing once the game begins. We still must go out and win the game. Turnovers at the wrong time, bads call, and missed field goals have doomed the Dolphins for too many years. This team is turning that trend around. It's time for them to win the games they should win, and this is one of those games.