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Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos: Matchups to watch revisited

Let’s take a look at who won the battles on Sunday

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams continue a magical start to the season reeling off another road win and improving their unblemished record to 6-0.

Let’s revisit the matchups to watch:

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman vs WR Emmanuel Sanders

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Sanders did a great job separating himself from defenders and making tough catches. Now, he did majority of his damage on the outside versus CB Troy Hill as he had two major catches against Hill that both nearly went for touchdowns (one was overturned). Sanders finished the game with seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, but hardly any of it came against NRC.

WR Robert Woods vs CB Chris Harris Jr

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

And now the Rams’ equivalent to Emmanuel Sanders, Woods torched Broncos defenders to the tune of seven receptions for 109 yards and another 12-yard rushing attempt. In a game where Brandin Cooks wasn’t really featured and Cooper Kupp went down with what looked to be a terrible injury, Woods once again stepped up as the defacto top guy. His route running ability, smooth breaks, underrated speed, and tremendous hands make him a QB friendly target. Woods now leads the Rams in both receptions and receiving yards.

Rams’ run defense vs RB’s Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Rolls Royce was limited to seven carries for 22 yards (2.4 YPC) and Lindsay was limited to four rushes for 18 yards (4.5 YPC) with another six receptions for 48 yards. The Rams’ run defense came to play this time around after struggling in Seattle. The Broncos essentially had nothing on the ground and routinely had to throw the ball to try and convert 3rd-and-longs. Great job bouncing back by the front-seven.

OLB Samson Ebukam vs Billy Turner

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

This was... sort of right? Ebukam was pretty much the only edge with any impact (hardly) when he forced a strip-sack on Case Keenum. Now, unluckily for Ebukam it didn’t count because Keenum picked the ball up and nearly threw an interception to NRC on the pass. I don’t believe that’s fair to negate the sack, but the Rams’ edge defenders seriously need to find a way to be more productive.

OT’s Andrew Whitworth/Rob Havenstein vs DE’s Von Miller/Bradley Chubb

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Chubb and Miller proved to be a major issue for the Rams’ offensive line this week, but it wasn’t necessarily just the tackles as I specifically remember a sack coming from Austin Blythe when he moved to LG (Rodger Saffold injury). Chubb and Miller combined for 4.5 sacks on the day proving just how much the Rams struggled to get the passing game going. I’ll jot this one up to some injury hiccups (Saffold, Whitworth) and bad weather. Look for these maulers (who did outstanding in the running game) to bounce back next week.

ILB Cory Littleton vs P Colby Wadman

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Littleton had a great game, but it came on defense not special teams. As for Wadman, well, he punted four times for an average of 42.3 yards per punt. Who cares?

Even though the game was closer than anyone hoped/expected, another tough road win for the team is a good defining moment that builds character.