The St. Louis Rams have struggled all season to play consistent football. It does not help that they are without their starting quarterback Sam Bradford, but Kellen Clemens has done a solid job filling in. He kept them close in his first two games as a starter and led them to their biggest win of the year against the Indianapolis Colts. It was a good win heading into the bye week and could serve as a motivator for the rest of the season.
As the Rams head out of their bye week they face the Monsters of the Midway. The Chicago Bears, like the Rams, will be starting backup quarterback Josh McCown. He has done a solid job filling in for starting quarterback Jay Cutler in large part because he has proven play makers. Both wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have caught over 800 yards. Running back Matt Forte is close to reaching that mark on the ground.
Even with Cutler out, the Bears have been able to pull out wins as they are second in an unstable NFC North with a (6-4) record. It will not be easy for the (4-6) Rams to pull out a victory, but it also is not impossible. The Rams continue to develop their running game. One possible reason for that is so head coach Jeff Fisher can control the clock and not have to heavily rely on the passing game. The Chicago Bears, like the Rams are struggling on stopping the run as they are ranked 31st. Running back Zac Stacy did struggle a little to get going against the Colts as he had 26 touches for 62 yards. The rookie has had a week to rest his body and will look to take advantage against the Bears front seven.
The Rams will also look to continue to put the pressure on the Bears offense. Chris Long has been starting to recapture his form from last year. His Hall of Fame father Howie Long and family will be in St. Louis for the game as Chris will be lining up opposite of his younger brother Bears rookie guard Kyle Long. The Bears O-line will also have to worry about defensive end Robert Quinn who leads the league in sacks with 12 and has five forced fumbles. Those two ends are possibly the true monsters of the midway.
The Bears do have the advantage on the outside with their big receivers in Marshall and Jeffery, it will be up to the Rams secondary to help contain them. If the Rams front four can create enough problems up front, it will free up other players to help shut down the Bears receivers.
The Rams are barely hanging on to a playoff chance and will need to win this game to remain in the hunt. A lot needs to happen and they do not have an easy schedule ahead of them as they still have to New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks towards the backend of the season. The St. Louis Rams have let too many winnable games slip away, this is a game they cannot let that happen to. I predict it will be a close game as the Rams to have a favorable matchup on the ground and on defense.