It’s been a bounce-back season for the Rams after they failed to make the playoffs during the 2019-2020 season. They’re tied for first with the Seattle Seahawks and can ensure they make the playoffs this year with their 10th win. That 10th win can happen this week during a matchup with the New York Jets who hobble into week 15 with an 0-13 record.
We’ve broken down three keys to securing that playoff spot against the Jets.
3. Keep All Eyes on the Prize
While it may seem like a walk in the park, the Rams shouldn’t let their guard down. Don’t let the Jets’ record fool you, they’ve shown they’re capable of showing up to play against some tough opponents. Just take a look:
- Week 1: Bills, 27-17
- Week 7: Bills, 18-10
- Week 9: Patriots, 30-27
- Week 11 Chargers, 34-28
- Week 13: Raiders, 31-28
Even though they’re still in first for the time being, the Rams still have a lot to play for. I’m not just talking about securing a playoff spot either. The Rams are still fighting to lock up the division as well for a possible higher seed in the postseason. With the Saints scheduled to play the Chiefs this Sunday, the Rams can move up into a tie for the second seed with two weeks left to play. Just as Sean McVay stated, the Rams still have goals to accomplish.
2. Take Jamison Crowder Out of the Passing Game
The Jets offense has hands down been the worst passing team this season as it has averaged 166.1 yards per game (32nd). Going up against arguably the best defense this season should continue that trend. In 9 games this season, Sam Darnold has thrown more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (5) while completing only 58.4% of his passes.
JAMISON CROWDER TO THE HOUSE!
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020
If the Rams want to weaken the Jets passing game even more, then taking Jamison Crowder out of the picture is key. His 510 receiving yards on 42 receptions lead the Jets receiving corps. He’s also caught 5 touchdowns this year and three of them happen to be from Sam Darnold. Taking away Crowder from Darnold eliminates any chance of the Jets staying in the game.
1. Feed the Hot Hand
It’s safe to say that Cam Akers has taken over the Rams’ top running back spot. The Rams have expressed they want to go with whoever has the hot hand in the backfield. After a slow start to the season, Akers has burst onto the season to earn that label. Over the past 3 games, he’s rushed for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Rushing yards vs. @Patriots
— Rams All-Time Leaders (@LARamsLeaders) December 13, 2020
Meanwhile, the Jets are fresh off of allowing 174 rushing yards and a touchdown to the Seattle Seahawks. Akers will be given every opportunity to try and repeat that outcome come game time. There’s no certainty that it happens, but giving him constant reps will help in his development.
New York Jets (0-13) @ Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
Sunday, December 20th, @1:05 PM on FOX