NFC West: Week 9 Game Preview
Tennessee Titans (3-4) @ St. Louis Rams (3-5) – 1:00PM EST
Tennessee Titans head to St. Louis on Sunday to face a Rams team trying to salvage their season. Titans will hope to finally have QB Jake Locker at full strength after having some much need rest during the Week 8 bye. The Rams however will be starting back-up QB Kellen Clemmons again this week due to the season-ending injury to Sam Bradford. Clemmons looked serviceable last week even with two interceptions in the game against Seattle. Last week, RB Zac Stacy emerged with over 130 rushing yards but was fighting an ankle injury toward the end of the game. Stacy staying on the field in Week 9 will have a big impact in the Ram’s ability to move the ball against Tennessee who allows over 115 rushing yards per game. With the Ram’s passing attack not much of a threat; it will be a run first offense as the Titans are ranked as a top ten passing defense.
One of the Titan’s first plans for the game should be to stop the Rams defense from getting to Locker. The Rams racked up seven sacks against Seattle in Week 8 and held them to their lowest yardage total of the season. Titan’s offense has been stagnate with RB Chris Johnson who has not averaged over 40 yards rushing in the past four games, so look for Titans to try to attack the pass game with their best receiving option in WR Kendall Wright, who had nine receptions in Week 7, with WR Nate Washington and TE Delanie Walker in the mix as well.
Seattle Seahawks (7-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) – 4:05PM EST
After positive news that WR Percy Harvin’s return might be sooner than expected, the Seahawks receiving core took a major hit with the news that WR Sidney Rice would be placed on season-ending IR. QB Russell Wilson will look to get by with their top wide receiving threats now Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin until Harvin returns, which has already been announced, which won’t be until after Week 9. RB Mashawn Lynch was limited in practice this week, but should be good to go on Sunday after a Week 8 where he totaled only 23 rushing yards. Seattle should find solace in the fact that they face an 0-7 Tampa Bay team this week, whose offense has been ranked among the bottom of the league.
As for Tampa Bay, it won’t get much harder than the Seattle defense. The Bucs are also playing short-handed after a season ending injury to WR Mike Williams, as well as injuries to Guard Carl Nicks and sophomore running back Doug Martin who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. While he looks to be improving, rookie QB Mike Glennon has been forced to throw the ball a ton in his first few games and unless rookie RB Mike James, who has looked unimpressive in the last two games, can get the running game going, it will appear to be another long day for Glennon and his top receiving target Vincent Jackson.