The Los Angeles Rams let a great opportunity to move above .500 for the 2023 season when they let the rope go in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That win might prove costly to their playoff chances as they now start the first of three consecutive road games. The Rams get the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 and they’ll be a tough test for them as they’re well-rested and playing great complementary football.
Dallas was able to outlast the Los Angeles Chargers back in Week 6 and with the bye week to recover and game plan, they might give L.A. problems on both sides of the ball.
Rams Offense vs. Cowboys Defense
The Rams rolled out a running back committee of Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman against the Steelers, but the former could be in line for more work after his successful first game back. Slowing down the Cowboys pass rush with the run game seems like a solid strategy for Sean McVay, though he’ll still try to push the ball downfield with Matthew Stafford.
The offensive line when healthy has done well to protect Stafford, but they’ll have their work cut out for them trying to keep Micah Parsons at bay. Parsons has been one of the best edge rushers this year, and could wreak havoc if he’s given too many one-on-one opportunities.
Rams Defense vs. Cowboys Offense
With Mike McCarthy taking over play calling duties, Dallas has been a much more conservative offense that moves the ball methodically. Dak Prescott hasn’t been throwing the ball very deep, so Raheem Morris must account for the short and intermediate areas of the field.
Ahkello Witherspoon is likely to draw the CeeDee Lamb matchup, but the Rams will also have to worry about Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks. The other weapon Los Angeles needs to be cautious of is Tony Pollard, who is able to burst through gaps and act as a receiver out of the backfield as well.
Keys to Victory
1. Special teams shows up
After a dismal performance in Week 7, the Rams decided to part ways with Brett Maher and bring in Lucas Havrisik. Special teams has not been a strong suit for Los Angeles in the past, though they’re certainly hoping that Havrisik can convert on opportunities as the offense could find it difficult to get into the end zone.
2. Get off the field on third downs
The Rams defense does well in the early downs, but for some reason have allowed teams to burn them on third down situations. Against Dallas, Los Angeles will need to capitalize on any third-and-long situations to give the offense more opportunities to score.