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Monday, October 26, 2020

Rams News: 3 Keys to the Rams Improving to 4-1 on the 2020 Season

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Adam Salcido
“That is the way this game is -- you win, you lose, you celebrate and you suffer.” -- Vin Scully

After edging out a win against the New York Giants, the Rams will hope for a better performance in Week 5 to continue their winning streak. They will matchup against the 1-3 Washington Football Team, who are in the thick of the NFC East race. While Washington will be playing to stay in the race, the Rams are also trying to keep pace with the leading NFC West Seahawks. 

Washington doesn’t pose a much of a threat at first glance but, they have a lot hanging in the balance this week and will stop at nothing to come out with a win. We’ve broken down three keys to ensure the Rams stop that from happening.

3. Be Wary of Gibson

No matter which way you look at them, Washington doesn’t pose much talent. The Rams will most assuredly try to keep Terry McLaurin, who is essentially their only real receiving threat, out of the picture. However, even if the Rams were to successfully do so, another threat has seemed to emerge. Running back Antonio Gibson, who resembles a knockoff version of Christian McCaffrey, had his most productive week yet.

 He rushed 13 times for 46 yards and caught 4 out of 5 targets for 82 receiving yards as well as a touchdown. Since they don’t have a very good run game (92.3 YPG, 30th) and the Rams have done well in limiting teams on the ground, we could very well see Washington utilize Gibson in the passing game similar to Week 4. Throw in the fact that he has had a touchdown in his last three games and you have the making of a sleeper to keep eyes on. 

2. Force Kyle Allen to play like Kyle Allen

After the team’s three straight losses, head coach Ron Rivera has decided to bench QB Dwayne Haskins and go with Kyle Allen instead. Allen spent the 2019 season with the Carolina Panthers, where he started 12 games with a 5-7 record (1-7 in his last 8 games). He threw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns last year (16 INT, 17 TD).

The shift in quarterback should affect how the offense performs overall, hopefully leading to a decline in production which the Rams can take advantage of. The offensive line has also allowed 13 sacks through the first four weeks, which should be good news for Aaron Donald and the defense. If they can constantly apply pressure to Allen then the Rams will be in great shape. 

1. Run Free 

Establishing the run game is always important for any team, but even more important for Los Angeles. They’ve started the year well in that department but took a step back last week against the New York Giants. The Rams were only able to rush 23 times for 58 yards, which averages out to only 2.5 yards per carry. This week should provide a perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Washington has allowed an average of 129.8 rushing yards to opponents this year, but an average of 154 yards in their last three games. Just last week, they allowed 144 rushing yards and 2 TD to the Baltimore Ravens. With the production the Rams have gotten out of Darrell Henderson this year and the return of a healthy Cam Akers, they should be well-positioned to take care of Washington and move to 4-1 on the season. 

NEXT: Mookie Betts Talks Brusdar Graterol After Drama-Filled Game 2

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