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Taking an early lead vs Cowboys will be crucial for Rams...

January 10, 2019 07:46AM
Taking an early lead vs. Cowboys will be crucial for Rams

Cameron DaSilva


The Los Angeles Rams didn’t have to play from behind very often this season. They only trailed at the half three times in 16 games, coming back to win two of those against the Packers and Raiders.

Playing with a lead is far easier than having to come from behind, especially for teams that like the run the ball as much as the Rams and Cowboys. Being up on the scoreboard allows you to run the ball more and control the clock, whereas teams become more pass-happy when playing from behind.

In Saturday’s game, grabbing an early lead – ideally one by two or more possessions – will be crucial for the Rams.

Dallas loves to ride Ezekiel Elliott on offense, as evidenced by its win over the Seahawks when the Pro Bowler had 26 carries for 137 yards. It’s far more difficult to run the football when trailing because of the clock factor. Coaches stray from the running game – Sean McVay included – when falling behind, just as the Rams did against the Falcons last year.

Dallas isn’t equipped to come from behind, doing so just a couple of times this year. The Cowboys trailed at the end of the first quarter three times this season. The deficit was never more than seven points, and the only time they came back to win was against the Lions when they trailed by four points after the first quarter.

As far as halftime deficits go, Dallas trailed in five games. The Cowboys were down 10 or more points at the half three times, losing all three. They also trailed by four points against the Texans after the first quarter and lost that game in overtime. The only time they came back from a halftime deficit was against the Falcons when they trailed by three points.

All five of those games were at AT&T Stadium, too, so it’s not as if the Cowboys were playing in front of a hostile crowd. In those games, Dak Prescott never had more than 200 yards passing, had two total touchdown passes and five interceptions. Even in Dallas’ comeback victory against the Falcons, Prescott didn’t have a single touchdown pass, though he did score on the ground.

Part of what makes Dallas’ offense effective is its ability to maintain possession. It ranked second in average drive time and seventh in time of possession per game. That’s made possible by picking up third downs – the Cowboys are 11th in the NFL – and running the ball to milk the clock.

There’s no ignoring Prescott’s five game-winning drives and three fourth-quarter comebacks, but playing from behind isn’t something he’s overly comfortable with.

If the Rams can take an early lead and put the ball in Prescott’s hands more often than Dallas would like, it’ll be a recipe for success.

  Taking an early lead vs Cowboys will be crucial for Rams...

Rams43209January 10, 2019 07:46AM

  Re: no it isn't

Speed_Kills130January 10, 2019 07:56AM

  Re: no it isn't

Killrazor91January 10, 2019 09:16AM

  Re: no it isn't

waterfield70January 10, 2019 09:45AM

  Re: no it isn't

21Dog55January 10, 2019 03:20PM

  Re: no it isn't

stlramz42January 10, 2019 08:56PM

  I think it is more a statement about Cowboys

Rams_8171January 10, 2019 09:52AM

  Re: Taking an early lead vs Cowboys will be crucial for Rams...

Zooey58January 10, 2019 05:38PM

  yes Zac typically struggles if he has to make plays

Rams_8140January 11, 2019 02:39AM

  If the Rams win the coin flip, take the ball

NewMexicoRam27January 11, 2019 03:03AM

  It sure would be nice

David Deacon22January 11, 2019 03:51AM

  Re: if u argue this pt, u just like arguing....

spagsbacker23January 11, 2019 03:53AM