St. Louis Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Free Pick 10/6/13
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) at St. Louis Rams (1-3)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Edward Jones Dome)
The Line: St. Louis Rams -11.5 -- Over/Under: 42 See the Latest Odds
The St. Louis Rams hope the remedy for their recent failures is a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
The St. Louis Rams were thought by many to be improved this season, but the Rams are sitting at 1-3 on the year, and really have only been competitive in their one win. To be fair, the Rams haven’t had the easiest of roads to open the season, facing the Falcons and the Cowboys in back to back road games, then hosting the Niners last week. The Rams held with the Niners for awhile on Thursday night, but San Francisco’s overall talent and physicality took over and proved to be too much for the Rams. Sam Bradford has been getting mixed reviews in his career, many citing his struggle as a lack of weapons for him. Bradford has weapons in the passing game, especially in Tavon Austin, but the ground game is practically non-existent. To highlight this point, heading into last week’s game against the Niners, Bradford had more attempts than any other quarterback in the league. This is definitely not the Rams game, and if St Louis doesn’t find some sort of ground support for Bradford soon, this season will get even more out of hand for this team than it already has. Luckily for St. Louis they face the Jags this week, who are allowing 5.4 yards per attempt this season. Look for the Rams to try and establish a ground presence early here, taking some pressure off of Bradford, and trying to free up the play-pass.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars are bad at football. The Jags, after four games this season are of course 0-4, and have a point differential of -24. Jacksonville ranks 30th in the league in passing yardage per game with 175, and on the ground the Jags aren’t any better, averaging just 49 yards per game. Jacksonville has only scored double digit points once this season and at this point are only averaging 7.8 points per game. In their game against the Colts last Sunday, the Jags managed just 205 yards of total offense, while quarterback Blaine Gabbert went 17/32 for 179 yards and three picks. So far on the season, Gabbert is completing just 49.3 percent of his passes, for 300 yards and five picks against zero interceptions. I won’t bother mentioning his rating or QBR. MJD was supposed to have resurgence this season, but so far that is just not the case as the talented, veteran back has nowhere to go behind this line. Jones-Drew is averaging just 2.4 yards per carry on the year, and only has 57 touches through Jacksonville’s four games. A big reason for his lighter workload is the fact that the Jags are behind so big, so quickly that they are forced to try and throw their way back into games. I’m trying not to beat up on the Jags too much here, but unless this team turns things around quickly, there is a real shot that Jacksonville could go 0-16 this year as I don’t see any progress being made on the field.
The Jags are 4-2 against the spread as an underdog of ten or more points the past three seasons, and in their last three games inside a dome, the Jags are 2-1 against the number. The Rams are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite, and at home this season, the Rams are 0-2 against the spread.
This is a ton of points, but I have to take the Rams in this spot. If there is one cure for a bad run game, it’s Jacksonville’s defense. The Jags just can’t stop anyone right now. To top it off, Jacksonville just traded their left tackle Monroe to the Ravens for additional draft picks. I see what the Jags did here (and Monroe is probably dancing his way to Baltimore right now) but having to face an angry Rams defensive front headlined by Chris Long...I’m think Gabbert would have preferred the front office wait a week to make that deal. The Rams should be able to shut down this Jags offense with little problem, and even if the Rams offense is sluggish, it should be enough to cover this number as I like the Rams by two touchdowns on Sunday.