The matchup between the Los Angeles Rams versus the Denver Broncos is a tale of two ends of the spectrum.
On one end is the Rams who are 5-0 and sit comfortably at the top of the NFC West rankings. On the other end is the Broncos who are 2-3, sit third in the AFC West, and are looking to rebound and regroup after a rough game vs the New York Jets.
Let’s take a look at some of the matchups to watch:
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman vs WR Emmanuel Sanders
This is going to be a battle of two heavy weights. When the Broncos get into three WR sets, Sanders typically kicks into the slot where NRC lines up. Sanders is a route running extraordinaire who also has a great set of hands and underrated speed. He’s the top dog the Rams will have to pay extra attention to in the passing game. Luckily for the Rams, NRC has likely been the Rams’ best CB so far making this battle a fun one.
WR Robert Woods vs CB Chris Harris Jr
Although the news sounds positive for WR’s Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp, we aren’t sure at this point if they’ll be able to suit up. If they can’t, look for Jared Goff to target Woods a bunch. After both Cooks and Kupp were knocked out in week five, Woods came alive ripping off massive chunk plays for the offense. Woods finished the game with 140+ yards from scrimmage. This week he’ll likely draw Chris Harris Jr, the Broncos’ best cornerback.
Rams’ run defense vs RB’s Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman
The Broncos have one of the best backfields in the NFL headlined by two rookies in Lindsay and Freeman. Combined, they nearly have 600 rushing yards and both are averaging over 5 yards per carry. The two runners contrast each other well with Lindsay being an electric and quick one-cut runner with awesome receiving ability (and running) and Freeman being more of a powerful hard to-get-down runner. The Rams’ front-seven is coming off a game where they were just abused versus the run, but I actually expect them to have a bounce back game and limit the Broncos’ rushing attack.
OLB Samson Ebukam vs Billy Turner
Is this the week the Rams’ edge rushers finally start to make a larger impact? It could (maybe should?) be. Starting RT Jared Veldheer sounds like he’ll miss a second consecutive game and LT Garrett Bolles is banged up. Ebukam and Matt Longacre will get to go against an experienced backup in Billy Turner who has 29 games of NFL experience. Look for Ebukam to improve his sack total (one) this week.
OT’s Andrew Whitworth/Rob Havenstein vs DE’s Von Miller/Bradley Chubb
This matchup will be one of the most interesting from the entire game. The rookie (Chubb) only has 1.5 sacks on the season, though the same cannot be said for Von Miller. Miller currently has four sacks, two of which are forced fumbles. Miller looks better than ever and will likely be a handful for the Rams’ bookend tackles in Whitworth and Havenstein. I do think the Rams have the edge here because the offensive line has been downright brilliant, but the Broncos’ edge duo could get themselves a few wins too.
ILB Cory Littleton vs P Colby Wadman
Cory Littleton has multiple blocked punts this season. He’s established himself as one of the great special teams players in the league today, maybe even ever. As for Wadman, he’s only had eight punts in the league (all of which came the past game). Marquette King was recently released, so look for Littleton to chase Wadman like a cheetah hunts it’s prey.