Now that things have begun spiraling, the Los Angeles Rams have been unable to get them back on track as the defending Super Bowl Champions have lost six consecutive games. The will get a chance to snap that losing streak, but it won’t be easy as they host the Las Vegas Raiders who come in playing their best football of the season and are on a three-game win streak.
Once again the Rams will be short-handed though there could be a new face at quarterback. The team claimed Baker Mayfield off waivers and he could start for the team should John Wolford be unable to suit up according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Source: Rams want to go through pregame warmups tonight and see how John Wolford – who is listed as questionable with a neck injury – is doing before deciding who will start at QB. If Wolford is not healthy enough to play, Baker Mayfield would be in line to start vs. the Raiders. pic.twitter.com/p1rK5kvEnq
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2022
Rams offense vs. Raiders defense
Whether it is Wolford or Mayfield at quarterback, the Rams face a Raiders defense that has not been great this season, especially through the air. The Raiders have allowed at least 360 total yards in seven of their last eight games and rank 30th in passing yards allowed.
Even shorthanded, the Rams do still have a couple of weapons capable of doing some damage in Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee. It would also greatly benefit the Rams to establish the run in order to slow down the Raiders’ pass rush which seems to be coming on lately.
Chandler Jones is coming off his best game of the season and Maxx Crosby continues to be a force on the line. But if the Rams offensive line is able to give their quarterback some time, the Raiders’ secondary is one that can be had.
Rams defense vs. Raiders offense
This will be a serious test for the Rams as the Raiders boast two of the best players in the NFL at their respective positions. Davante Adams has long been one of the best wide receivers in the league and he has been dominant, coming off a season-high 177 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers on Sunday. This is the type of matchup where the Rams will need Jalen Ramsey to step up and show why he is considered one of the NFL’s premier cornerbacks.
But perhaps more important to the Rams’ chances will be containing the league’s leading rusher in Josh Jacobs, who has topped 100 yards in each of the last three games and is the engine of the offense. This is made even more difficult without Aaron Donald, but that simply means it will be on the entire team to step up and make life hard on Jacobs.
Keys to Victory
1. Win the turnover battle
The Raiders are not a team that creates a ton of takeaways, but they don’t turn it over too much either. The same can’t be said for the Rams who rank fifth in the league in giveaways. The last thing they can afford to do is give short fields to this explosive offense and with their own offense missing so many weapons, it would go a long way if the defense can help them out by giving them good field position.
2. Contain Josh Jacobs
Quite simply, the Rams can not allow both Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams to dominate. Keeping Jacobs in line takes away the play-action potential where the Raiders thrive, but if he gets going it opens up the rest of the Raiders offense and the Rams will struggle to keep up if they get going.