The time is upon us. The regular season is here for the Los Angeles Rams and they have a matchup with the injury depleted Indianapolis Colts to kickoff Sean McVay’s career. These Colts players can either give the Rams fits or give them a chance to exploit the Colts depth chart. Let’s kick off the season keeping an eye on the enemy.
QB Scott Tolzien
Rams catch a break missing QB Andrew Luck in the season opener as he’s dealing with a shoulder injury. In steps in Philly Roughsod (shouts out to very good analyst and thoughtful person Jason Whitlock) to take over. In short, Tolzien is no Andrew Luck. He’s more Case Keenum. Will Wade Phillips make Tolzien try to dissect the Rams secondary with the Colts receiving weapons or will he throw the kitchen sink at Tolzien? Phil has started three games in his four year career and has combined to throw 5 interceptions in those starts.
WR T.Y. Hilton
The reigning NFL receiving yardage champ, Hilton is a premier deep threat WR. Not only can he beat you vertically, he has the speed to take any pass to the house. But Hilton’s overall game should take a hit with Tolzien in at QB. Often times when backup QBs play, they have favorite targets and they target them often. Will Hilton be Tolzien’s go to this week or will a guy like TE Jack Doyle see the majority of the targets? Nevertheless, the Rams defense must contain Hilton and take away the big play.
LT Anthony Castonzo
Castonzo is no Greg Robinson. Having said that, he is not the toughest matchup Robert Quinn or any other will face this year. But the Colts should try to run the ball with Frank Gore, Marlon Mack, and Robert Turbin early and Castonzo excels as a run blocker. If the Rams allow Castonzo to constantly win matchups against their defensive ends and edge rushers, it could be a long day defending the run.
CB Reshaan Melvin
Like many of you, I don’t know a whole lot about Reshaan Melvin but I do know that Chuck Pagano has named him the Colts CB1 for this week. Insert Sammy Watkins (Plz Free Him). Entering his 2nd year with the Colts, Melvin takes over the top spot with Vontae Davis out nursing a groin injury. Melvin started 9 games for the Colts last year and had 7 passes defensed though, he still with no career interceptions. Whether or not Melvin shadows Watkins, this is a matchup that McVay and Goff need to try and exploit.
DT Johnathan Hankins
Hankins is a gigantic man standing at 6-3 and 325 pounds. He’s the first guy in line to try and stop Todd Gurley and the Rams offense. Hankins was an under the radar big free agent signing coming from the Giants but had a down year in 2016 due to a position switch to nose tackle. Now with the Colts, he moves back to a 3-tech role and should have a favorable matchup against John Sullivan and the Rams interior offensive line. If the Rams can control Hankins, Gurley should be able to have some running lanes.