St. Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins
St. Louis: The Rams come off of an impressive defensive effort on Thursday Night Football, beating the Cardinals handedly 17-3 in Week 5 action. During the game, Sam Bradford lost his favorite target and PPR gold WR Danny Amendola, so it remains to be seen just how badly that effects the Rams offense. Someone will have to step up, and the one who will get first crack to do so is the guy who’s been starting across from Amendola, Brandon Gibson. Gibson won’t rack up the sheer number of catches Amendola did (over 30 on the season), but he should get an uptick from the 3-4 catches he’s been seeing with Amendola on the field. Fortunately, the Rams go against the 26th ranked pass defense in the league, which should help them hammer out exactly how their passing game is going to go in the post-amendola world.
I’m sure the Rams would like to count more on Steven Jackson, who’s been gutting it out each week through a painful groin injury. Jackson did get to half a week and a half off because of the Thursday night game, but now he faces the #1 rush defense in the league. The Rams haven’t been that great with the blocking, so this is likely to be a very tough game for Jackson to get going in.
Good Start: None
Middle of the Road: QB Sam Bradford, WR Brandon Gibson, WR Chris Givens
Bad Start: RB Steven Jackson, TE Lance Kendricks
Miami: The Dolphins come off an important win against the Bengals in Week 5, proving their defense is good enough to play a major role in winning games. Ryan Tannehill did a good job of managing the game; he didn’t score any touchdowns himself, but he also didn’t turn the ball over and did just enough with his 219 total yards to assure the victory.
This week, Tannehill gets a tougher defensive test in the Rams, who rank 14th in total defense. Fortunately for the Dolphins, the Rams actually do most of that defensive damage at home, and have yet to allow an opponent less than 23 points on the road.
In order for the Dolphins to get a win, they’re going to need to get Reggie Bush going, as he’s their top playmaker. The Rams rank in the bottom half of the league in run defense, so Bush should find some success on the edges.
With the Rams sporting an offense that isn’t scaring anyone, especially without Danny Amendola in the lineup, the Dolphins may get up early enough that the run game takes over, rendering both Brian Hartline and Davone Bess as afterthoughts. You can hope that one or both gets to do some damage before that happens, and as always, a TD will favor either Hartline or TE Anthony Fasano.
Good Start: RB Reggie Bush
Middle of the Road: WR Brian Hartline, WR Davone Bess
Bad Start: QB Ryan Tannehill, TE Anthony Fasano