The Kansas City Chiefs will host the St. Louis Rams this coming Sunday, and after losing Sam Bradford to a torn ACL earlier this season, one might wonder what exactly is the identity of this Rams team. This is particularly pertinent given the Rams’ upset victory over the defending NFL champion Seahawks last week. I wanted to take a look at this years’ Rams squad so Chiefs fans know what they will be seeing on Sunday.
At 2-4, the Rams are in the NFL’s arguably toughest division (NFC West), and are performing as might be expected (save for the win against Seattle) as many sportswriters projected an overall losing record for them. The Rams have the third toughest schedule this season based on opponent win percentage in 2013. However, they do rank in the top half of the NFL with an average of 253 pass yards per game.
One key for the Chiefs against the Rams will be to continue to highlight their rushing attack as the Rams allow 145 rush yards per game, which ranks near the bottom of the NFL (the Chiefs are third best in the league averaging 140 rush yards per game). In addition, the Rams have allowed 16 total sacks (good news for Justin Houston who is tied for second most sacks in the league!) and have only recorded 4 of their own. This should be a good chance for the Chiefs’ offensive line to build some consistency, although the Rams’ Robert Quinn set a franchise record with 19 sacks last year.
The Rams’ Coach, Jeff Fisher, has a record of 16-21 for St. Louis, and has a career record of 4-0 against Andy Reid, with all 4 of those wins coming while Fisher was at Tennessee and Reid was at Philadelphia. The Rams and Chiefs have not faced off for the Governor’s Cup in the preseason since 2012 before Reid was KC’s head coach. Fisher has an affinity for trick plays, which is something the Chiefs should watch out for, but Special Teams Coach Dave Toub will have the Chiefs prepared.
On offense, the Rams are led by QB Austin Davis, a second year player from Southern Mississippi. In 5 games this season, he has 1,517 yards (66% completion rate) and 9 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions, good for a 94.3 rating. His QB rating currently ranks ahead of Alex Smith, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, among others. Davis’ favorite targets are Jared Cook and Brian Quick, who both average over 12 yards per catch.
I think this match up favors the Chiefs, especially considering the Rams’ weak pass rush so far this season, and the Chiefs’ strong running game. If Andy Reid relies on Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis to carry the load, the Chiefs can control the clock and keep Austin Davis from making plays. And maybe Eric Berry will finally be able to play again this Sunday, which should help limit the Rams’ passing game. Look for the Chiefs to get back over .500 this week.
Let’s Go Chiefs!