The Los Angeles Rams find themselves in a position that fans and media couldn’t have seen coming at the beginning of the 2023 season as they are in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The Rams have managed to win three straight games and are right outside the postseason bubble. Los Angeles has seemingly found a groove on both side of the ball in recent weeks, though their toughest test of the year is on the horizon as they take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.
Unlike Los Angeles, Baltimore has been one of the best teams in the NFL this season and it’s no surprise given the talent and depth they have on both sides of the field.
Although the Rams have been playing better as of late, they have their work cut out for them.
Rams Offense vs. Ravens Defense
Matthew Stafford continues to progress from the thumb injury that forced him to miss time, and if he looks like his prior self then the team has a better shot of slowing down a Ravens defense that’s been suffocating in all areas of the field. Baltimore’s got a slew of impact defenders at every level of their unit, so Stafford’s going to need to be careful with his aggressive throwing nature.
Cooper Kupp doesn’t look completely healthy after hurting his ankle, so Los Angeles could turn to Puka Nacua, who has been a revelation for the squad. The Rams could also continue to ride Kyren Williams who’s been great since coming back from injured reserve.
Rams Defense vs. Ravens Offense
Los Angeles’ defense is in for a massive challenge as they’ve got to find ways to slow down a Baltimore offense that’s been one of the most efficient recently. Lamar Jackson is turning in an MVP-caliber season as he’s benefitted from offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s passing-friendly system.
The Rams may not be seeing Mark Andrews, who is out indefinitely, but they’ve still got to contend with threats like Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. L.A.’s also got to be wary of the three-headed monster Baltimore has in Gus Edwards, Keaton Mitchell and Justice Hill.
Keys to Victory
1. Win on the early downs
Moving the ball patiently and methodically against the Ravens defense is the only way to slow them down. On the flip side, stopping Baltimore’s run game would go a long way in giving themselves an advantage.
2. Limit turnovers
It goes without saying too much, but Stafford and the offense have to be perfect taking care of the ball as giving Baltimore extra possessions is a recipe for disaster.