I had an opportunity this week to exchange a few questions with Justin Stine of Fansided’s Rams Blog – Ramblin Fan.
Here is what I found out about the Giants competition this Monday night:
1. How are the Rams doing with injuries? Will Bradford be ok, and is the Cadillac going to be gased up and ready to go?
The injury report looked awfully bleak right after Sunday’s game, but things are actually looking better for the Rams at this point. Sam Bradford practiced fully on Friday, so he will be fine for Monday night, as will CB Bradley Fletcher, who is dealing with a toe. OT Jason Smith and TE Michael Hoomanawanui are also expected to play Monday, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that Steven Jackson is almost certainly going to be out, as will Danny Amendola. As far as Cadillac Williams goes, expect to see a heavy dose. He’s going to get plenty of touches, and I think the national audience is going to be surprised to see what he has left.
2. What are your top concerns about the Rams heading into week 2?
I think the biggest concerns for the Rams right now have to be their secondary on defense and the passing game offensively. With top corner Ron Bartell out for the season and Fletcher still slowed by the toe injury, guys like Justin King and Al Harris are going to have to step up to defend the passing game. Bradford and co. never really got things going last week through the air, and when the did find an opening the receivers struggled to catch the passes. With Jackson out, this team is going to have to be able to stretch the Giants defense with the passing game to give Cadillac more room to operate.
3. Will the offense play uptempo to cut down on the Giants pass rush like you all did agains the Eagles?
My guess would be that the Rams will try to use the no-huddle and speed things up again this week. It looks like Bradford is more comfortable when the offense is moving at a faster pace, and the offense seems to be more consistent as well. I think the Rams are going to speed things up all season, but against good pass-rushes like the Giants they will probably do it more often.
4. Coming off a disappointing loss to the Eagles, Coach Spags’ former team — what do you expect the Rams to adjust as they travel north to face the Giants, another of Spags’ former teams?
The loss to Philly was tough, but this week against the Giants is going to be a completely different task. The speed of Mike Vick and the rest of the Eagles on both sides of the ball was the focus last week, but I would expect a different approach on both sides of the ball against New York. I would expect the Rams to blitz more this week and to give some more exotic looks than the did against the Eagles because there is no threat of Eli Manning beating them with his legs. On offense, I expect the Rams to try to stretch the field more with downfield passes this week, which is something they didn’t do last week against the great Philly secondary.
5. Did you notice anything that would suggest Spags knew what was coming from the Eagles offensively or defensively? Do you think he’ll have a similar feeling about the Giants gameplan?
I think the Rams pretty much got what they expected from Philly last week, but the execution was less that stellar. They did a nice job containing Vick early, but as the game went on they lost contain on both passing and running plays. I think it’s easier to gameplan when you have tape on a team from this season, and his familiarity with some of the Giants’ personnel probably won’t hurt either. The Rams will be prepared, but they just need to execute for the full 60 minutes.
6. X-Factor for the Rams?
Offensive X-Factor for the Rams will be Lance Kendricks. Defensive: Chris Long
7. X-Factor for the Giants?
Offensive X-Factor for the Giants will be Hakeem Nicks (assuming he plays). Defensive Jason Pierre-Paul.
8. Prediction for the game?
Rams 24 Giants 17