clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers vs. Rams - Early Look

Several of you have articulated your dislike of late-season Thursday night games. The short time to prepare, the mounting injuries, etc. All valid points I couldn't agree more on all counts. The only silver lining is we get Steelers football that much quicker in the week!

Make your plans now guys, as this one's on the NFL Network. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

The big news for St. Louis is the return of Steven Jackson, the dynamic 4th year RB who missed significant time earlier in the year. Jackson seems to be hitting his stride, with 96 yards against Atlanta three weeks ago, a 91 yard effort two weeks ago against Cincinnati, and 143 yards last Sunday against a stout Packers defense. When Jackson is healthy and has even just average blocking in front of him, he's easily one of the 5 or 6 best backs in the league.

St. Louis had a chance to get on a bit of a roll earlier this month. They had won two in a row at New Orleans and against San Francisco, and had a chance to make it three when they had the ball at the goal line against Seattle with less than a minute to go. Gus Frerotte fumbled a snap though, and all hopes of even getting back to .500 were dashed. They did bounce back against a hapless Falcons team the following week, but have since lost two in a row to Cincy and Green Bay. Still, over their last 6, they're 3-3, including a 3-1 mark at home.

A few numbers before opening it up to you guys:

  • If there was ever a time for the Steelers to get back on track sacking the QB, it would be this week. The Rams have surrendered 44 sacks this year. The opposite goes for our offensive line: best not let this weak pass rush get any licks on the ailing Roethlisberger. The Rams have only notched 27 sacks.
  • Even though they have been outgained by nearly 10% more yards on the season, and scored 15 fewer TDs, the Rams possess the ball on average 31:01 minutes per game.
  • Marc Bulger, who usually makes most columnists and experts top 5-7 QB list, is having a downright awful year. Injuries have plagued him, due in part to the abysmal play of the rag-tag offensive line (note to Steelers, don't let our offensive line allow this to happen to Big Ben), but he hasn't been his usual accurate self when he has been in there. Bulger and Frerotte's numbers are eerily similar actually: both average 6.3 yards per attempt, both have thrown 7 TDs and 11 INTs, and Bulger's 59.7 % completion percentage is only slightly better than Frerotte's 58.1%. Whenever you're being compared to Gus Frerotte, something's not right.
  • Despite missing 4 games with injury, and only carrying the ball 8 times in his first game back against Cleveland, Jackson is 18th in rushing yards.  Of the 17 players in front of him, only 9 have a higher yards per carry average.
  • There's not much positive, or overly negative to say about the Rams defense. They're so-so against the run; ditto against the pass. Where they really struggle though is in the only category that really matters: points!. They're the 27th ranked scoring defense, and some of that I have to believe, is due to the -7 turnover ratio. It also doesn't help having two kickoff returns taken back, plus an INT and a fumble.


We've gone through the valley on the road before..Several times now. Losses at Arizona, at Denver, at New York, and at New England. All but the trip to Foxboro were disappointing. We need to win this game guys. This is a certified, must-win game not just for playoff reasons (it's in fact not must-win in that regard), but simply because if we do in fact a have a nucleus in place that could compete in future years for championships, they need to be able to beat teams like this year's Rams, even if it's on the road. I think the group probably feels a little kicked around about now, so I'm sure they're eyeing this matchup as a great chance to finally come out and be the more aggresive, physical team. If they aren't? Yikes, I don't even want to think about it right now.

Go Steelers!