By Matt Stypulkoski | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | Posted January 13, 2019 at 07:50 PM | Updated January 13, 2019 at 08:29 PM
By Matt Stypulkoski | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
AP Photo | Mark J. Terrill
Here’s an early look at the Rams-Saints, plus a prediction on the winner.
Who: Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
When: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
Time: 3:05 p.m.
Rams defensive line vs. Saints’ offensive line: The Rams’ defensive front is dominant. Aaron Donald should be a runaway favorite to win the NFL Defensive Player of The Year award after logging 20.5 sacks and 59 tackles. In addition to Donald, the Saints will have to contend with Ndamukong Suh, and Michael Brockers, who combined for 5.5 sacks, in order to keep quarterback Drew Brees upright.
Rams CB Aqib Talib vs. Saints WR Michael Thomas: Thomas has been an absolute menace all season long for the Saints, reeling in 125 catches and 1,405 yards with nine touchdowns during the regular season. He’s easily Brees’ favorite target and a tough one to stop. Meanwhile, the Rams bolstered their secondary over the offseason, by adding Aqib Talib, who will likely be tasked with containing Thomas. Talib finished the regular season with 23 tackles and one interception.
Rams RB Todd Gurley vs. Saints’ front-seven: No running back rushed for more touchdowns than Gurley’s 17 this season — and he finished third in rushing yards with 1,251. The Rams’ offense clearly functions best when Gurley gets things going. If the Rams are able establish the ground game early, it should help them slow down the Saints’ explosive offense and keep the ball away from Brees a bit.
For the first half of the season, Jared Goff was right in the mix for the MVP award alongside the likes of Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, and Tom Brady. But Goff cooled off in a big way down the stretch, before getting things going again in the final two weeks of the regular season. He was just OK against the Cowboys, though.
Whether or not he returns to form and can keep up with Brees in this matchup will go a long way toward determining the outcome.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News