The Los Angeles Rams are hoping to avoid becoming the latest victim of the red-hot Baltimore Ravens when they come to town in Week 12 for a Monday Night Football matchup.
The Rams were able to get back into the win column last week with a 17-7 win over the Chicago Bears in the first of their back-to-back primetime matchups at home. Although the defense was able to get the job done once again, the offense continues to struggle with establishing its identity.
There is no question that the Ravens pose much more of a threat coming in on a six-game winning streak that has included quite a few impressive victories in recent weeks. Not to mention, quarterback Lamar Jackson has firmly established himself as the frontrunner for MVP during that impressive span.
Rams Offense Vs. Ravens Defense
Los Angeles will be welcoming back some much-needed firepower on offense with the return of wide receiver Brandin Cooks. He has been sidelined for the past two games due to a concussion and his absence had left a notable void in the passing. Fortunately, quarterback Jared Goff will finally have his receiving corps fully intact to try and get back on track this week.
Baltimore has managed to sport a rather clean bill of health in recent weeks after enduring their fair share of injuries early in the 2019 NFL season. This matchup also presents a bit of a homecoming for cornerback Marcus Peters after he was dealt prior to the trade deadline. While he has downplayed any notion of hard feelings for his former team, it is safe to say that he will be looking to make his presence felt in his return to the Coliseum.
Rams Defense Vs. Ravens Offense
The Rams defense has quietly emerged as one of the most formidable groups in the NFL despite all the changes they made throughout the course of the 2019 campaign with trades and injuries. If there was ever a time they needed to solidify that notion, it will be in Week 12.
The Ravens have firmly ended the Rams’ two-year reign as the most dynamic offense in the NFL thanks to the emergence of Jackson. His versatile skill set as both a runner and a passer have helped them average a league-high 34.1 points per game. More importantly, his supporting cast is healthy and ready to cross off another notable win on the schedule.
Three Keys To victory
1. Containing Lamar Jackson
This goes without saying considering Jackson has become the most explosive offensive weapon in the NFL. He has fittingly helped lead the league’s best rushing attack that is averaging 203.1 yards per game.
Fortunately, defending the run happens to be the Rams’ specialty after allowing the fifth-fewest yards per game on the ground thus far (89.1). This should certainly go a long way in their efforts to limit Jackson and the Ravens ground attack.
2. Stay Committed To Run Game
Los Angeles was finally able to get their run game going behind running back Todd Gurley in Week 11 after he tallied 97 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. This approach helped them put some much-needed points on the board while the offense continued to find its footing.
Head coach Sean McVay could opt to fight fire with fire feeding Gurley early and often once again. Coming up with stops on defense and dominating the time of possession will certainly pay huge dividends when it comes to keeping up with Baltimore’s high-powered offense.
3. Take Shots Downfield When Necessary
The only way the Rams are going to be able to establish a consistent rushing attack is if they are able to keep the defense honest by picking and choosing their spots to go deep. Fortunately, this should be much easier to down now that Cooks is back in the mix and his presence should put the Ravens on notice.
After all, McVay has seen firsthand just how prone Peters is to getting torched deep due to his aggressive style of play. It will be interesting to see if he is able to use this familiarity to his advantage when it comes to trying to stretch the field.