STL Rams at KC Chiefs
Is it JUST another preseason game tonight? Not if you’re from Missouri. The Rams and the Chiefs will battle it out for the bragging rights and the Governor’s Cup in Kansas City Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, and the Rams will do their best to bring the trophy back to this side of the of the state after losing the Cup in a 13-27 loss last December at the Edward Jones Dome.
This will mark the thirteenth time the two have met since 1995 when Rams moved to St. Louis. The Rams franchise holds the preseason record of 12-8 against the Chiefs and will look to add another win tonight.
What I’ll be watching for:
1) Roster spot battles. With the first team scheduled to play the first three quarters or thereabouts the competition for the last couple of roster spots will definitely be heating up tonight. Each block, missed tackle, or dropped ball could mean you stick or get cut.
Again with Danny Amendola, Mike Sims-Walker, and likely Brandon Gibson already having cemented their place on the roster I’ll be keep a close eye on Danario Alexander, Donnie Avery, and Mardy Gilyard. I’m going to assume unless there’s some gross error on the rookies’ part Austin Pettis and Greg Salas should be safe.
Watch for LB’s Ben Leber, Brady Poppinga, and Zac Diles to get more playing time today as they try to earn starting positions.
I also expect CB’s Al Harris, Justin King and Dionte Dinkins to see their fair share of time on the field as well.
2) First of the two biggest things that worried me from the Titans game: The number of times Sam had to peel himself off the turf. He’s going to need better protection up front from the big guys otherwise all those offensive weapons down field won’t matter.
If he’s rushed look for flashes of last season where he’ll be dink and dunking off short passes to either his TE’s or RB’s.
Remember that $1,000/game incentive? Maybe Sam should sweeten the deal. Nothing like positive reinforcement, right?
3) The other big issue from last week’s squeak of a win was the sloppy defense. Miss tackles and blow gap coverages made the Titans’ back-up RB’s, Jamie Harper and Stafon Johnson, CJ2K-esque (to a point, of course).
Things will not be any easier tonight as the Rams defense will go up against Chief’s RB duo of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. And don’t forget the self proclaimed Offensive Weapon, Dexter McCluster.
Degrees of separation or Hoody’s discipline reunion:
Rams OC Josh McDaniels and Chiefs DC Romeo Crennel spent four seasons together on Bill Belichick’s staff.
Rams TE Coach Frank Leonard coached Chiefs GM Scott Pioli at Central Connecticut State.
Leonard and Pioli also worked together with the NE Patriots. Leonard was a special assignment scout for the Patriots in 2004 when Chiefs DC Crennel was DC in New England.
Make Master Hoody proud, gentlemen!
It would be outstanding to come out with a win tonight and bring back the Governor’s Cup. But in the end, I just wish the guys a safe game with no more injuries to the team.
Kick off is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. Enjoy the game!