Both teams come into this game with even records, but the Texans are the favored team to come out with a win. Even with Schaub’s inconsistent play at the quarterback position, the Texans defense has been the team’s strong suite thus far. JJ Watt and the boys are the topped rank defense in the league only allowing 260 yards per game. The pass defense, also ranked number one, has only allowed 134 yards through the air. That could spell trouble for St. Louis.
Bradford is having what I believe a decent year given the tools he has to work with. He has completed a little over 58% of his passes and has thrown 10 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Once again he is without a true number one receiver and this year has no running back to rely on. Second year running back Daryl Richardson was taken out of the starting lineup last week and was replaced by rookie Zac Stacy.
This might have been a move of desperation that accidently worked for the Rams. Already in one game of substantial carries, Stacy has put up half the amount of yards Richardson has put up all season. Stacy is more of a run between the lines type back, similar to what Steven Jackson did for St. Louis in previous years. His one flaw is he cannot catch out of the backfield. If the Rams want their running game to set up the passing game off play action, Stacy will need to miraculously pull this trick out of his hat.
The St. Louis running game will need to be successful Sunday if they want a shot at beating the Texans. If there is no effective running game for the Rams, Bradford and company will struggle against the Texans number one pass defense. The Rams have already shown they struggle against teams with highly ranked defenses.
Although the Texans offensive play makers like wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster have struggled to reach the end zone, look for this to be a huge pick-me-up game for them. The St. Louis Rams defense has failed to live up to expectations as they are ranked 23rd. Although they were able to pull off a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and played some of the best defense all year, they still allowed the Jags to put up 20 points. This was a team who was struggling just to put up 10 points a game. The Rams need to be rolling on all sides of the ball if they want a win against Houston, otherwise it will be another long day for coach Jeff Fisher and the boys.