Just when the Los Angeles Rams were slated to win Jared Goff’s debut, it rained on their parade. The defense led off the gas and Miami Dolphins hit their stride late. However, the team must move on, as Todd Gurley and the Rams travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Both the Rams and Saints enter Week 12 with a record of 4-6, as both teams are third in their respective division. The Rams were just minutes away from a .500 record, as Jeff Fisher continues his tenure as head coach on the hot seat. The emergence of Goff may very well dictate if he returns past this season.
According to the head coach, Goff had a very encouraging practice on Wednesday, delivering excellent throws and building a sense of confidence. During the contest against the Dolphins, Goff was very limited in his passes, barely making an attempt that exceeded ten yards.
The check down strategy is wise, but once teams catch on, it can spell drastic problems for the rookie No. 1 overall pick.
The Rams defense also underwent their own change this past week, as cornerback Troy Hill was recently arrested. Once the details of the case were made public to the Rams, Hill was dropped down to the practice squad and the organization signed cornerback Steven Williams. In recent news, the Rams also promoted cornerback Michael Jordan and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby.
Entering the Week 12 showdown, the Rams must understand the abilities Brees possesses when playing at home. Through 10 games, the offense of the Saints ranks second in the NFL at 422 yards per game. Brees leads the NFL in terms of passing yards per game (316.8 YPG), while the tandem rushing attack ranks 17th at 105.2 yards per game.
On the other hand, the Rams enter Week 12 as the 31st ranked offense (299.9 YPG). The passing offense is only averaging 215.4 yards per game (28th), while Gurley and the rushing attack average only 84.5 yards per game (29th).
When looking at the defensive side of the ball, the Rams have clearly outshined the Saints. The Rams defense ranks sixth in the NFL, only allowing 318.3 yards per game. Their passing defense (215.7 YPG) ranks sixth also, while the rushing defense is ranked 16th (102.6 YPG).
The Saints defense is slated at the No. 27 position, permitting 382.8 yards per game. Their passing defense allows 280.7 yards per game (31st), while the rushing defense permits 102.1 yards per game (14th).
Gurley missed Friday’s practice with an illness, but the sophomore is expected to play on Sunday barring any setbacks.
Upon one of the most disappointing losses in Fisher’s career, he decided to make some personnel changes to the offensive unit.
Although it is only his second start, Goff should certainly feel a lot more comfortable entering the Week 12 contest, especially with some changes made to better fit his repertoire.
Running back Mark Ingram, who was demoted to a committee role with Tim Hightower, remains questionable for Sunday’s contest while dealing with a concussion.
The Rams, fortunately for them, enter Week 12 a rather healthy team. Aside from William Hayes, who is dealing with a non-injury related situation, only three players even showed up on the report. Gurley, Tim Barnes and Ethan Westbrooks are all questionable to play.
The showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is slated for a 10:00 A.M. PST start and will be aired on FOX.