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Keys to the Game: Chicago

Posted Nov 22, 2013

In the first visit to the Edward Jones Dome by the Chicago Bears since a Monday Night Football appearance in 2006, the Rams will look to improve to 3-3 at home this season. Here are three keys to the Rams’ success on Sunday.

Protecting the Football

Turnover differential is always one of the most indicative figures in the outcome of a game, but this week’s matchup includes two of the league’s best teams in this area. The Rams have committed just two turnovers over the past two weeks, and are plus-five in turnover ratio for the season. While Chicago’s defense has allowed more yards and points than it has been accustomed to in recent years, the unit is ranked fourth in takeaways with 22.

“The one thing that hasn’t gone away from that Chicago defense is the turnovers that they’re able to generate,” QB Kellen Clemens said. “I think they’re third in the league or something right now with 22 takeaways. That’s still going to give their offense opportunities and it’s something that we can’t give them.”

Create Pressure From the Front Four

Highlighted by the work of defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the Rams boast one of the league’s best pass-rushing foursomes, along with tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers. In addition to the front four combining for 25 sacks, the group also has consistently shown an ability to divert and deflect passes when unable to reach the quarterback.

Chicago QB Josh McCown will be starting his third game of the season on Sunday, and while he has had no shortage of success in his first two games, he has seen limited pressure from opposing defensive fronts, having been sacked just three times.

Develop Consistency Against the Run

The Rams displayed their ability to limit a team’s running game in Week 10 against Indianapolis, when they held the Colts to just  However, performances like the one they had against the Colts have also been scattered among outings far less stingy, as they’ve allowed opposing teams to eclipse 150 yards on the ground four times. Chicago’s Matt Forte will represent yet another steep challenge this week, and may shed light on whether the Rams’ encouraging outing against Indianapolis can progress to a trend.

“Every week’s a challenge, so we’re going to be tested, clearly going to be tested,” Head Coach Jeff Fisher said. “They like to use an extra offensive lineman in the game, in the power game at you and spread you out and run that game at you, so we’re going to be tested.”