Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Expect a very slow paced game between two teams with quarterback and weapons issues.
- Two previous high powered offenses are now among the slowest paced and least aggressive teams in the league.
- There is some uncertainty for both teams regarding who their starting QB will be this week.
- Scoring will be at a premium this week with a “first one to 20 wins” feel to this game.
How los angeles Will Try To Win ::
The Rams have one of the worst running games in the league and their offensive line might struggle in the Pac-12. They also just lost all-world wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, for at least four weeks to a high ankle sprain. Matthew Stafford may be able to return this week from his concussion but even if he does return there is only so much you can do with no running game, blocking, or explosive weapons. Very dark times for the defending Super Bowl champs.
The thing about the Rams offense that many people don’t understand is that it is built around the running game. Sean McVay is a very good offensive mind who comes from the “Shanahan coaching tree.” The concepts within the offense rely on a consistent and occasionally explosive running game which opens things up via play action, misdirection, and shot plays. The inability of the Rams offensive line to effectively open up holes coupled with the revolving door of running backs who are middling talents at best has left the Rams in a situation where they can’t run the ball with any sort of sustained success. That reality has left them up a creek without a paddle as their passing game concepts don’t fool any defenses or create advantages without a real threat from the running game. Their one “trump card” has been Cooper Kupp’s ability to sustain the offense at varying levels of the field. Now that they don’t have Kupp, it is hard to see the Rams moving the ball well at all for the foreseeable future unless they get some very easy matchups, which this week is not.
The Rams, who run primarily “11” personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB), will have Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, and Ben Skowronek on the field for virtually every play. As opposed to the concentrated approach the Rams use when they have Kupp, the passing game usage should be spread out relatively evenly between those three and Tyler Higbee, with a couple of RB targets sprinkled in. The Rams may try to “establish the run” a bit more without Kupp but the game plan will likely be some form of conservative, slow paced approach and try to win a low scoring game on the back of their defense. If Stafford plays, they may look to take a couple more shot plays downfield to Robinson and Jefferson.