As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to take on the St. Louis Rams, the battle for the Governor's Cup will be interesting given the first preseason performance for each team in the NFL preseason. The Chiefs dominated on both sides of the ball in a week one win against the Arizona Cardinals. As for the Rams, they took a beating against the worst team in the NFL last season, the Indianapolis Colts. This week, one team will look to maintain momentum while another is looking for quick answers.
We recently asked Ryan Van Bibber, editor of Turf Show Times and NFL writer for SB Nation, several questions about Rams to get a better idea of what to expect from tonight's game.
The Colts loss seemed brutal from the outside with two franchises trying to make gains from the basement going head to head with such lopsided results. Did it seem that way from the inside?
Ryan: At first, fans had a really visceral reaction to it. The Rams have been so bad for so long that hungry fans tend to latch onto to any sign of hope, and there were lots of those this spring. With a night to think about it and watch the tape, tempers calmed a little. But there's no question that the fans really need to see some progress to latch onto.
What will be the primary areas of focus (one or two) for Jeff Fisher heading into the game against KC?
Ryan: Fisher is pretty clear that the preseason is less about the scoreboard and more about making sure his team has a grasp of the fundamentals. Blocking, tackling, penalties, finishing drives and things like that will be the primary emphasis more so that getting into the appendix of the playbook.
What's the feeling on Sam Bradford's ability and/or readiness at this point?
Ryan: This is a real concern. He came into the league with tons of talent, but has taken enough abuse behind shaky offensive lines and ill-conceived offenses (that's a Josh McDaniels reference) that the David Carr watch has begun. He really struggled under pressure last year, and the city is on alert to see how that improves. He was less than spectacular against Indy, but not a total disaster. It will be good for him to get a test against the Chiefs' first team defense.
What will impress Chiefs fans watching the Rams closely for the first time with their offense?
Ryan: Of course, everyone knows Steven Jackson, but he looks more explosive than he has in the past. Keep an eye on Isaiah Pead, the complementary running back. The Rams are really hoping to have their version of Jamaal Charles with Pead, but he was all nerves in his preseason debut.
What will impress Chiefs fans watching the Rams closely for the first time with their defense?
Ryan: It's the best defensive line you've never heard of. Chris Long had 13 sacks last season and more than 80 total pressures on opposing passers. Second-year end Robert Quinn has been burning by tackles this year. Rookie DT Michael Brockers was held for most of the game last week, and his power could really be a disruptive force in the middle.
Finally a prediction of wins/losses for the Rams this year?
Ryan: At this point, six wins is probably optimistic.