Kevin C. Cox
As we tick closer to this Sunday matchup against the very much disliked St. Louis Rams it's time to look at potential matchups and what the team needs to do to secure a Win for their first time since losing to the Rams eight weeks ago.
Offensive Line VS D-Line:
Both Defensive units can consistently bring pressure on the opposing Quarterback. Last time however we saw the Rams sack Kevin Kolb NINE times compared to us only bringing down Bradford once. This time we have rookie Ryan Lindley making his first start and an O-Line that seems to have improved with rookie LT Nate Potter.
Last time he played the Rams, he destroyed them setting a career and franchise record best 228 yards. If we can spark that same output from him, Lindley won't need to throw as often, and when he does receivers will be open.
Nate Potter & Bobby Massie VS Long & Quinn:
While the O-Line as a whole will be watched, it'll be interesting to see how Massie performs after being man handled in his first contest with the Rams. Long and Quinn alternated sides and he seemed to fair better against Long than Quinn. Previous LT D'Anthony Batiste struggled against both, so how Potter deals with them will be interesting to watch.
The Mann's Keys to Victory:
1) Win TOP: We have to keep our defense and their offense off the field as long as possible. If we can open with a 10 play 70 yard drive that kills six to seven minutes off the clock and come away with at least a FG that's a win for this team.
2) Protect the Rookie: He has confidence and some swagger (NOT Derek Anderson Swag) about him and if he gets sacked 9 times he may start to question himself. He has plenty of experience being a 4 year starter at SDSU but lets see how he can translate that to this game.
3) Now We Can Run Up the Gut: With Wells back and healthy, more or less, we can now run Mike Millers favorite play... Inside Handoff. (Seriously I wonder if his whole playbook is from Madden) William Powell could also see more playing time with The Hyphen listed as Questionable.
4) Play Smart: If all three are achieved we need to execute this one too. We have seen to many great plays or great drives wiped out by one swift kick to the groin (Figuratively speaking not Ndamukong Suh literal) If we can limit the holdings or the personal fouls then we can win this game.