One of the great things about working at The Landry Hat, and the Fansided Sports Network, is our access to different experts. Since our network has a site for every NFL team, I’d thought I’d get an insider’s take on the upcoming Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams Sunday match-up from behind enemy lines.
Therefore, I present these in-depth questions with the Lead Writer of our St. Louis Ram’s blog, The Ramblin’ Fan, Justin Stine:
LH: How do you think A.J. Feely will play today?
JS: I would expect Feeley to manage the game fairly well. He is a veteran and he knows his job, and I would think the gameplan will be somewhat conservative. He will get in trouble if he tries to do too much, but if he hands the ball off and takes what’s given to him in the passing game I think he should be able to hold his own.
LH: Is Steven Jackson wearing down?
JS: I think any running back who is Steven’s age has to be wearing down a little bit, but when he’s right he is still an elite back in this league. He got sidelined right off the bat in Week 1 this season, but he is back and as long as he stays healthy he can really make this offense go.
LH: Will Brandon Lloyd make an immediate impact on the team?
JS: I really don’t know what to expect from Lloyd this week. I think he knows the Josh McDaniels offense pretty well from his time with Denver, but I can’t imagine his timing with Feeley will be spot on right away. My guess would be he will need a few weeks working with Bradford before he really makes a huge impact, but don’t be shocked if he makes a couple nice catches this week as he starts to get comfortable.
LH: What do you think is the difference between last year’s Rams, and this years?
JS: I don’t like to make excuses for this team, but I think the biggest difference is the schedule. The Rams probably have the toughest schedule in the league over the first nine weeks, and last season they had one of the easiest. If last year’s team played this schedule, they would be winless as well. The biggest issue I have is that so many of the young players have not taken a step forward. We are still a relatively young team, but I’m not seeing much progress in any of the young players. That’s on the coaching, and I think it’s one of the reasons this staff is on the hot seat.
LH: What is the Rams biggest weakness?
JS: It’s so hard to pick just one… I don’t know if it’s our biggest weakness, but by far the biggest disappointment has been the offensive line. This group is one of the highest paid lines in the league, but they have been unable to stop anybody from getting to Sam Bradford. They have a ton of talent, but for whatever reason it’s not translating. Top picks Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold have struggled mightily this season, and the addition of Harvey Dahl has yet to pay off. I still think this group has the ability, but until they do their job this team will struggle to score.
LH: What is your predictions for today’s match-up?
JS: I feel like it’s going to be a good weekend in Texas for St. Louis teams. The Cardinals put up 16 runs against the Rangers in the World Series on Saturday night, and I think the Rams will make a game of things on Sunday. They will make a game of it, but they won’t be leaving with a victory. My prediction: Cowboys 31 Rams 14 with the Boys adding on late to pad the victory. If the Rams score more than the 16 the Cards put up, I’ll be surprised.
LH: There is no chance the Rams draft Andrew Luck with Sam Bradford under center…or is there?
JS: I don’t like to say there’s no chance of Andrew Luck being a Ram next season, but let’s just say I highly, highly doubt it. This team has invested a ton of money in Bradford and made him the face of the franchise, so if the Rams would get the first pick I think they would shop it hard and try to get someone desperate for Luck to give up their entire draft to get him.