Buffalo Bills (3-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-3)
SB Nation's Rams coverage: Turf Show Times
The Buffalo Bills travel to St. Louis this week to try to extend their unbeaten record to 4-0 when they visit the reeling and winless St. Louis Rams. As the Bills learned in last week's 24-23 victory over Oakland, this Bills team is not yet good enough to take any "easy" game lightly - and thus, they'll prepare for the Rams as if they're preparing for the playoffs.
Want to know more about the Rams? Turf Show Times should be your final destination, but we're also fortunate enough to have TST's author, VanRam, with us this morning to answer a few Rams questions as well.
Buffalo Rumblings: What's your take on the QB switch from Marc Bulger to Trent Green? What does Green bring to the table that Bulger doesn't? Was Bulger really the Rams' biggest problem?
VanRam, Turf Show Times: Bulger's been so battered playing behind porous offensive lines over the years - sacked 97 times in the last three seasons - that he's off his game, making throws off his back foot, etc. which has taken some of his potency away. He needs to step back and get his groove back, but no athlete likes to be pulled away from the game. The other motivation for this move was just to switch things up on offense a bit. Green knows Al Saunders' offense very well, which is why putting him in there made sense to the Rams coaches. The real problem is a weak O-Line, and they'll have to hold up to give Green a shot to do anything - including staying alive, literally.
Buffalo Rumblings: The Rams also released CB Fakhir Brown and replaced him with Saints cast-off Jason Craft. Is this helpful for the Rams' secondary, or is it a band-aid for a bullet wound?
VanRam, Turf Show Times: Brown was the Rams' most talented corner, bar none. The problem was that Ron Bartell was playing like the Rams' most talented corner. There's more to this than we know, but on the surface at least, Brown's attitude got him released. But his 'tude rotted out because of the way things are going behind the scenes and in the locker room at Rams Park. Something stinks here. Some team on the bubble with a big question mark over the pass defense is going to emerge after picking up Brown.
Buffalo Rumblings: Two weeks ago, you publicly asked the Rams to play their youngsters. Has that happened yet? Which young Rams players have been most/least impressive to you?
VanRam, Turf Show Times: They are indeed moving more young Rams into the lineup. Second round pick Donnie Avery, the first WR taken in the draft, will start opposite Torry Holt this week. Last year's surprise rookie, DT Clifton Ryan, will likely start at NT, being a better run stopper than the aging La'Roi Glover. Sadly, we don't have a lot of young players after boffing draft after draft in recent years. The 2008 draft looks like the best in a long time. The potential surprise out of this year's draft was shaping up to be WR Keenan Burton, who had a great preseason and showed out well in limited regular season work, all things considered. He's injured, however, and won't play again for a few more weeks.
This Rams team scares me a bit, because it's not the same Rams team that the Bills have been watching on film all week. There's different personnel, and there will very likely be a different approach as well. The Bills should win, but this game should be much more challenging - at least early in the game - than most will admit.
If y'all are interested in reading up on the Rams, be sure to stop by Turf Show Times. You might even see me over there at some point today...