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Los Angeles Rams vs Philadelphia Eagles: Five Rams to watch

The Rams are going to have to play a complete game, but these players in particular need to ball on Sunday

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are coming off of back to back wins and face their stiffest test yet on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be a fun game to watch. I’d pay extra attention these players who will play a big part in Sunday’s game.

Jared Goff

Goff didn’t have a terrible game last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but it wasn’t an impressive outing either. He put up his lowest QBR of the season (30.5), but he also completed about 68% of his passes - which is why I’m not a huge fan of ESPN’s QBR system, but that’s a conversation for another day.....

Truth is Goff didn’t have to carry the offense last week and that’s a good thing. With his success this year, it’s easy to forget just how much he struggled last year. Sean McVay put him in good situations and he made the most of them - QBR be damned. That said, the Rams are going to need more than 220 yards against the Eagles. Look for Goff to air it out to keep pace with the other highest scoring offense in the NFL.

Tavon Austin

Ok, hear me out before you just skip this section.

Yes, Tavon is overpaid.
No, he didn’t deserve that contract.
Yes he’s been a huge disappointment as a top 10 pick.
No, he won’t ever get to 1,000 yards receiving.
Yes, he is only a gadget player.

There. Now that we have that out of the way, we can get back to business. An NFL offense relies on stretching opposing defenses. You have to space out the DBs and LBs in order to open throwing lanes. Most people think of speedsters when this is mentioned. Everyone wants that WR who can ‘take the top off’ of a defense. The best offenses though have someone who can stretch the field horizontally as well.

Tavon is the Rams very expensive version of that player. His jet sweeps don’t usually yield much, but his explosiveness provides a threat that opposing defenses need to respect and account for - thus stretching them horizontally. Todd Gurley also does this to a less extent on his flat patterns and wheel routes. Taking Tavon away removes that threat and allows the defense to allocate more resources to the center of the field.

Sure, he only has 238 yards from scrimmage this season, but that’s not his job in this offense. His role is to stretch the field and open holes for Gurley to run wild. Look for him to excel as a distraction on Sunday.

Michael Brockers

Even among his fellow defensive lineman - the most unheralded players on a football team - Brockers flies below the radar. Some of that has to do with having Aaron Donald next to you every down, but there is a reason that the Brockers is the highest paid NT in the NFL (though he does play some 3-4 DE too).’

Brockers may not have the build o Vince Wilfork, Casey Hampton, or Haloti Ngata, but he’s no slouch at 6’5” and 325 pounds.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, that’s the aforementioned Donald looking like Brockers’ little brother. #90 is big, lean, and mean and he’s going to have his work cut out for him on Sunday.

The Eagles have an extremely good group of running backs that Brockers will have to contend with on the inside. If the Rams are going to step up their run defense against LeGarrette Bount, Jay Ajayi, and Corey Clement, they’re going to need a helluva performance from Brockers.

John Johnson III

Johnson stepped in as the starter after Mo Alexander was released earlier and the early results have been mixed. He has flashed the ability to be a good NFL safety,but there have also been times where he has looked like a rookie who was taken in the middle rounds of the draft.

There is a reason that Carson Wentz is the frontrunner for MVP. The Eagles have some ballers at WR and Wentz isn’t afraid to take shots down the field. Lamarcus Joyner has more than held his own in his first season at free safety, but I fully expect Johnson to be targeted in this matchup.

If the Rams are going to win, he needs to step up and answer that call.

Greg Zuerlein

Not much explaining required here. GZ has been on point this season and this is going to be a very close game. The Rams need Legatron to be perfect.