Free NFL Picks San Diego at St. Louis 10-17-2010

October 13, 2010

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San Diego Chargers at St. Louis Rams

Sunday October 17th, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: San Diego -8 1/2

Overview:

The Chargers and Rams both come into the game at 2-3. The game will take place in St. Louis, which is critical in betting this game. The Chargers are 0-3 on the road, posting losses against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Seahawks. The Rams, on the other hand, are 2-1 at home, with their only being a a four point defeat against the Cardinals. After both teams suffered losses last week, it will be imperative they come back with a strong showing this week. 3-3 looks much better than 2-4.

Keys to the Game:

  • Sam Bradford is going to miss Mark Clayton. Clayton acquired 300 yards in just four games this season, but fell victim to a season ending knee injury last week against the Lions. Bradford posted his lowest rating of the season, while Clayton was out. He threw more picks than touchdowns for the first time since his debut. While Clayton is out, Danny Amendola is going to have to step up, as he did last Sunday. He posted 12 catches for 95 yards at Detroit. Part of this can be credited to the loss of Clayton, the other part is credited to the fact that the Rams had to throw the ball all day long to try to come from behind. The Rams were sparse at receiver to begin with. This is a huge blow. The Rams need someone to step up, as Clayton did, or they are in for a long season.
  • Malcom Floyd had 154 yards on Sunday against the Raiders….in the first half. If Floyd can be this productive against the Raiders secondary, it is hard to imagine what kind of production he could have against the Rams. Many people saw Floyd having a big year, with the absence of Vincent Jackson providing Floyd with the number one spot. Essentially, Floyd has taken the role of Jackson. If he can continue to produce as he did against the Raiders, the Chargers will have a serious threat at wide receiver. This is going to make it difficult on the Rams. Everyone knows San Diego likes to get the ball out to Antonio Gates, but the progression of Floyd is going to take away from a defense’s ability to allow a safety to cover Gates. If Floyd is taking up the safety, Gates is going to be covered by a linebacker. That is going to be exhausting.
  • The Chargers are stout against the run and solid against the pass, but Steven Jackson is chasing a milestone, so he could have a few big games in succession. Steven Jackson ran for 114 yards in their loss against the Lions. The yardage put him above Marshall Faulk for the second most rushing yards in franchise history. He is only a few hundred yards away from surpassing Eric Dickerson, which means he is running with purpose. Jackson suffered a groin injury, but still managed to have a great day against the Lions. With Clayton out and a more respectable defense on the other side of the ball, Jackson may struggle a bit, but he still has to be accounted for. It is safe to say the Chargers can load up the box against Jackson, but that is nothing new for him. He has been the sole talent on the Rams for years. Bradford might regress a bit with his favorite target out, so it will be up to Jackson to pick up the slack.

Wrap Up:

The Chargers are a solid football team. Their confidence waivers at times, but the talent is there. It will be interesting to see if Floyd can maintain his recent level of play. Regardless, the Chargers have not won on the road yet. Since the Rams play significantly better at home, saying they are going to be blown out by a struggling Chargers team might be too bold of a statement. The Rams haven’t lost by more than four at home and the Chargers have never won. The Rams knocked off two teams who came into St. Louis with a winning record. The Chargers will get their first road win on Sunday, but it won’t come as easily as they might expect it to.

Free NFL Pick: St. Louis +8 1/2


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