Rams News: 3 Keys for LA’s Week 8 Matchup Against the Miami Dolphins

The Rams made a statement last week as they took down one of the top defenses in the league. This week they’ll look to prevent one of those statements by the Miami Dolphins as they look to get their first win behind new quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Both teams are in the thick of their respective division races, so look for it to be a hard-fought game. In order to come out on top, there are three keys that should be helpful towards a Rams’ win.

3. Welcome Tua Tagovailoa to the NFL

Tua was a star at Alabama before suffering a season-ending injury. After going 5th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dolphins have waited until after their bye week to give the rookie his first start. It has to be the worst time to do so as he’ll be welcomed by one of the top defenses in the league. The Rams have allowed the second-fewest points per game in the league with 17.7. They have also been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks as they are tied for third in sacks with 24 on the season. 

While Tua is a dual-threat quarterback who has shown his ability to read coverage well and be able to extend the play, this isn’t Alabama anymore. Players are bigger, faster, and stronger in the NFL. The Rams defense is firing on all cylinders right now and should be able to hand Tua his first career loss. 

2. Load the Box Early

With the presence of a rookie quarterback, Miami may opt to ease Tua in early by trying to establish their run game to open up the field for him later in the game. However, Miami’s run game ranks towards the bottom of the league as they have been able to manage 105.2 yards per game. Myles Gaskin is coming off of a productive week with 91 yards on 18 rushes. To be fair that was against a not so dominant Jets defense. 

The Rams run defense has had its ups and downs this season but still ranks within the top 10. Last week they held Chicago to only 49 rushing yards the entire game. Effectively shutting down the run game would put even more pressure on the young rookie to force his throws. 

1. Contain Mike Gesicki

The Rams have allowed the 5th least passing yards this season to opposing teams. However, they have been susceptible to tight ends while covering teams’ slot receivers. They’ve allowed 41 receptions for 379 passing yards and 4 touchdowns.

Gesicki is a dangerous target to leave open as he plays like a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. He’s coming off a poor week in which he couldn’t snag both targets that came his way, but that shouldn’t stop him from exploding this week if the Rams don’t cover him well. Keeping an eye on him all game should be one of the Rams’ top priority. 

Game Details: 

Los Angeles Rams (5-2) @ Miami Dolphins (3-3)

Sunday, November 1st, @10:00 AM on FOX

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