Let’s be real here, rushing offense never figured to be a primary weapon in the
’ quest to beat the
Yet, after two games, the Ravens are ranked fourth in the league in run defense, having allowed 140 yards and a 3.1 yards-per-carry average during those initial confrontations. Making matters worse, the Rams are likely to be without road-paving back
The Rams also could be without Jackson’s backup,
Thus, the mail carriers against Baltimore’s bulky front could be Nos. 3 and 4 on the RB parade,
The math is daunting: a run-snuffing defense vs. a depleted running offense. It doesn’t take imagination to envision quarterback
"I think you have to (run the ball) in every game," Spagnuolo said. "It doesn't matter what defense you face, if it's a good run-stopping defense or they're not stopping the run real well. I think everything is more effective on offense if we're able to run the football."
The Rams appeared rather one-dimensional at New York on Monday night. After a robust 187 yards of rushing against Philadelphia in Week 1, the Jackson-less Rams had 59 yards and only one rushing first down against the
Falling behind on the scoreboard certainly impacts those numbers somewhat, and Spagnuolo isn't cockeyed enough to suggest the Rams can run wild Sunday. But if the Bradford Bunch is going to have time and space against the Ravens, it seems imperative the Rams keep the defense honest with some semblance of a rushing threat.
"We'll try to do that no matter who is back there with opportunities to get the ball handed to them," Spagnuolo said.
Moreover, Spagnuolo pointed out the importance of the backs in pass protection. The Rams can't afford to have Norwood and Porter learn on the fly. "We have them both ready so if that's the way we have to go, that's what we'll do," Spagnuolo added. "I do think the mental challenge of it is more in the protection part."
PETTIS READY TO GO
One way or another, the rookie figures to see his first action Sunday.
"As of right now, I got some decent reps with the offense this week, so hopefully I can get in there and make some plays," Pettis said.
Pettis did not return any punts in college and said his last return was in high school. But the ability to catch things seems to run in his family. Pettis' uncle is Gary Pettis, who played center field during 11 seasons in the major leagues (1982-1992). What's more, Pettis' grandfather was Del Rice, who was a big league catcher and played parts of 12 seasons with the Cardinals.
"If I couldn't catch things, I would probably be looked down on a bit in my family," Pettis said, with a smile.