The Rams will now face their next big challenge of the 2010 season, as they travel to New Orleans this Sunday to take on the Saints. And since it is a road game, this Sunday will likely be the Rams' most difficult game of 2010; even more difficult than the Atlanta game.
The Rams just don't match up well against New Orleans. The Rams usually win when their passing game is fluid and effective, but the Saints have the 3rd ranked pass defense in the NFL. The Saints achieve their effective pass defense by using a lot of blitz packages. The Rams must use the screen pass to either Steven Jackson or Daniel Fells in order to beat the blitz.
New Orleans has the 15th ranked run defense in the NFL, but since the Rams typically struggle to establish a run game, it would not be unwise to replace the run with short passes, like they did against Washington when Jackson was injured. This will insure that Bradford and the receivers are constantly in sync. But then again, the Rams need to keep the clock running in order to give Drew Brees less time with the ball.
On defense, they need to create turnovers. New Orleans has the 25th ranked rushing offense, and the Rams have the 14th ranked run defense, so they will not likely get beat on the ground. However, the Rams poor pass defense was exposed against Denver and Atlanta, which means they will certainly struggle against the Saints' potent air attack. If the defense can consistently get pressure and force field-goals, and if they can create some key turnovers, then this team has a chance.
Assuming the Saints show up ready to play, the Rams will have to play their best game of the year to win Sunday. Sam Bradford needs a zero interception day, and he has to create a rhythm with the offense. The Defense has to make some big turnovers, and play a solid four quarters.
PREDICTION: Rams 24 Saints 34