The Rams are coming off of a much-needed win against the Arizona Cardinals. Their victory not only takes them to 7-0 against the red birds in the McVay Era but also places them tied for first with the Seahawks at 8-4. Los Angeles now faces a short practice week as they will clash with the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. The showdown will be a rematch of Super Bowl LIII which featured the Rams coming up short of their goal.
In hopes of seeking redemption for their misfortune, the Rams will look to take down the Pats and remain in first. We’ve identified 3 keys that could go a long way towards that feat.
3. Feed Cam Akers
It seems like the mantle of No. 1 running back has shifted from Henderson to Cam Akers in recent weeks. Akers has not started out the season that many had hoped when the Rams took him in the second round of the 2020 Draft. However, after a stint on the IR, he has come back with a furry.
Cam Akers carries a defender in the end zone 😮
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 6, 2020
Over the last two games, Akers has carried the ball 30 times for 156 yards and his first two career touchdowns. He’s started to mold into the type of player the Rams were hoping for. After Sundays’ game against the Cardinals, Akers was said to be dealing with a shoulder injury. However, even though he was limited at practice this week, it seems like the team was just limiting his workload for Thursday night.
2. Keep an Eye on the Backfield
It’s no secret that the Patriots’ offense is no longer the same without Tom Brady to guide them. With Cam Newton under center instead, the Pats have shifted to a more run-heavy offense. In the last two games alone, Newton has thrown for only 153 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Now compare that to the 275 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns from the backfield.
Cam Newton is too strong. #GoPats
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2020
Trying to throw the ball this week won’t be smart for the Pats as the Rams have been the toughest team in limiting yardage through the air. However, the Rams will be ready for them on the ground as well as they’ve allowed only 93.1 rushing yards per game. Add in the fact that you have Aaron Donald and moving the ball, either way, will be a difficult task. If the Rams can contain Newton and the run game, they’re looking at a great game.
1. Jared Goff needs to bring his A-game
The Patriots’ defense is not on the same level as the Rams’ but they still shouldn’t be overlooked. Just last week they blanked the Chargers 45-0 and the week before that they contained Kyler Murray to win 20-17. Both teams have quality quarterbacks that could not get any sort of momentum going. There’s no doubt Bill Belichick will try to exploit any weakness to get to Goff.
— The Game Day NFL (@TheGameDayNFL) December 6, 2020
Goff has had an up and down season no matter which way you look at it. Any sort of turnover will surely be capitalized on this week. He did bounce back last week throwing for 351 yards and a touchdown. Goff is an essential piece in any kind of success this week and for the rest of the season. There’s no other option but him.
New England Patriots (6-6) @ Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
Thursday, December 10, @ 5:20 PM on FOX