Wells has provided a spark to the Cardinals’ once stagnant running game. Establishing the run and controlling the tempo will be essential to the visiting team’s success. Three out of the past four games, Wells has finished with a yards per carry average above 5.3. If he can assist the Cardinals in punching the ball down the throat of the St. Louis defense from the start, the Rams will be finished before half time.
Coming off his best performance of 2009 (6 tackles, 1 sack), Dockett is ready to pounce on the Rams. His main obstacle will be shaking off the 7,500 dollar fine levied on him by the NFL following his roughing the passer penalty against Matt Hasselbeck.
Dockett will be looking to atone for his mediocre performance in last year’s Rams contest. He contributed only 1 assisted tackle and no sacks in a Cardinals’ victory. Dockett will also be called upon to stop the Rams sole weapon, Steven Jackson. The Cardinals will be counting on his presence on the front line throughout the game.
The only bright spot on a horrendous team, Jackson has rushed for at least 130 yards in the last three games. Last season the Cardinals were able to hold him in check allowing him to run for 17 yards in their first matchup and 63 in their second.
The Rams only chance at victory lies with the legs of Jackson. Depending on which Cardinals’ defense shows up, Jackson could be stymied or could run free. Either way, Jackson versus the Cardinals front line will be one of the pivotal matchups in this game.
Boldin has bounced back nicely from his sprained ankle and played at full speed during last week’s win over the Seahawks. Boldin contributed eight catches for 105 yards. This week he plays against an even worse defense. With the weakened Rams defense forced to focus mainly on Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin should have a field day with the frequent single coverage. Cardinals’ fans will get a good look at his ankle and it will be obvious early on if the injury is fully behind him.
The Rams number one threat (although that’s not saying much) is going to have plenty of opportunities with the Cardinals’ defense focusing on stopping Jackson. Avery has been mired with inconsistency throughout the season and could step up against a Cardinals’ pass defense that has been less than spectacular.
Avery busted out last week catching two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. He will undoubtedly be looking to have his number called once again and if he can get open, Jackson could benefit from the defensive adjustments.
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