The Rams are preparing for the world champion Green Bay Packers and their trip to historical Lambeau Field. The odds are stacked against the Rams across the board, and many of the professionals that predict the outcome are leaning heavily against the group from the Show Me State. They are probably right.
When I analyzed both rosters, the differences were glaring. The Packers are stacked with more than 10 Blue players (playmakers and difference-makers), which is what you need on a playoff team. They are stacked on both sides of the ball, and are explosive on special teams as well. This team’s bloodline came from the yearly NFL draft while adding key free agents to fill hot spots, a philosophy I truly believe in.
The Rams are a young team, and its foundation inconsistent in structure. This leaves them fighting to keep pace with the rest of the NFC West. This upcoming lopsided contest reminds me of the old story of David and Goliath.
You remember the story of the Philistine army war against Israel. There was a Philistine giant measuring over nine-feet tall and wearing full armor that came out each day for 40 days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.
A young boy, the son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. A teenager too young for war or battle, he heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. The young boy’s name was David, who lacked fear and had smarts and athletic ability. He volunteered to fight the giant man named Goliath. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd’s staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.
While David’s weapons were limited to a slingshot and bag of rocks, Goliath had all the weapons that included sword and spear and javelin. As Goliath moved in for the kill to end this conflict, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead, and he fell, face down on the ground. David then took Goliath’s sword, and the rest is history.
With the NFL schedule, the battle was set months in advance. While no man fears another at this level of competition, the reality is that a good team (one stacked with Blue players) can intimidate and play with the heads of the teams they will face. Green Bay is 5-0. They are clicking on all cylinders, and they win the psychological battle before the game even starts.
If the Rams don’t make the first move and score early and often on offense and step up to the challenge on defense, they will have a strong disadvantage and probably suffer another loss.
We will see if the Rams come back from their bye week with faith in one another. The coaches will tweak the game plan and scheme to fit the current team’s personnel and talent level. This young team will need to face the situation together as one heartbeat and 53 men strong, and still that won’t be enough in this contest. I will say this. The Rams have already played four possible playoff teams in the first five games of this young 2011 season. When I put things in proper perspective, the Rams are outmanned, but like David they truly have a chance to defeat the giant in the Green Bay Packers.