While I finish the classic movie “Driving Miss Daisy” with Morgan Freeman, I grabbed a bite to eat and beverage and headed to my computer to start my column. I started thinking about the St. Louis Rams and their game against the Kansas Chiefs and the words that kept jumping into my brain was URGENCY, TURNOVER DIFFERITIAL, PRESSURE, FINISH and LUCK.
My friend Webster helped me with the true definition of the word URGERNCY; “The quality or condition of being urgent, under pressing situations and the importance of the situation: the urgency of the call for help, pleading with urgency”. I feel the Rams understand the urgency of the situation and what’s at stake on Sunday in the ED. As Webster mentioned, the urgency for the call for help, keep in mind no one is coming to the Rams rescue. They must come out of that tunnel with a mindset and a sense of urgency that last 60 minutes against the Chiefs.
Most football games come down to one stat. It’s not how many passes are completed, the yards after contact or run after catch, the number of tackles or sacks a defender has, but the TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL. When on offense, Sam Bradford must protect the ball, make smart decisions in and outside the pocket. Steve Jackson and the running backs must carry the ball high and tight and not outside of their frame on defender collision while fighting for extra yards to avoid fumbles. Defensively the Rams must force turnovers. When the Chiefs pass the ball the Rams secondary must be ball hawks and compete high and low for the ball. The front seven must become an opportunistic group in and around the box, forcing fumbles when tackling or pressuring the quarterback.
At this late stage of the season, PRESSURE “is what is applied, not felt”. The Rams must take the fight to another level and deliver a knockout punch at the opening kick-off till the final whistle blows. The chance that Matt Cassel plays Sunday is about 10-20%. In other words he needs another week before his body is ready for the punishment that is dished out in the grown man’s league known as the NFL.
How the Rams FINISH is going to be very important, not only for the outcome of this game, but the remainder of the 2010 season. They must finish every route, every run, every block, every tackle, and every return. How you start is extremely important, but how you finish defines the character of a team and the men on that roster.
I was told by an NFL owner who I have a great deal of respect for and we consider each other friends, you make your LUCK in this business, and you can’t rely on the bounce of the ball. The ball bounces whichever direction and is truly unpredictable. I agree with his statement, but I also feel that Perseverance + Opportunity = LUCK, in this great game. The Rams must find a way to persevere on Sunday and take advantage of all opportunities. So let’s get this party started right!