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Friday, August 19, 2011
On the Rams' potential pass-happiness

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Regular ESPN.com contributor K.C. Joyner has shared a few NFC West notes from his 2011 fantasy football guide, including this one for the St. Louis Rams:

Joyner: "Adding Josh McDaniels and a slew of improved wideouts to the team are strong indicators that the Rams will lean just as heavily on their passing game this year as they did last year. The good news for St. Louis is that the schedule also bodes quite well for this type of mindset. The evidence for this can be found in the matchup strength numbers for Sam Bradford and the Rams running game. The matchup strength takes a look at a number of defensive metrics (both for individual players and for the team as a whole) and assigns points based on where they rank leaguewide. ... Bradford has 83 matchup points, a total that ranks him tops among quarterbacks. The Rams' running game has 25 points, a total that is only one point away from ranking dead last."

My thoughts: Someone hide these numbers from Steven Jackson. They play into perceptions McDaniels favors the passing game and will abandon the run more quickly than some coordinators would. Some Rams opponents in 2011 have invested heavily to upgrade their pass defense. Week 1 opponent Philadelphia has gone out of its way to strengthen its secondary, adding Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. The New York Giants, on the schedule in Week 2, used a first-round pick for a cornerback, only to watch Prince Amukamara suffer a broken foot. Arizona used the fifth-overall choice for cornerback Patrick Peterson. A couple other teams on the schedule, notably Cincinnati and San Francisco, subtracted starting corners. This is going to be Bradford's offense for the long term, obviously.