If you’re looking for a foreshadowing of a possible NFC Championship matchup, this is the one.
The two heavyweights will duke it out in a game that may very well end up deciding who could get home field advantage (as well as a playoff bye week) in the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at the matchups to watch:
CB Marcus Peters vs WR Michael Thomas
After a solid game or two, Peters once again struggled last Sunday versus the Green Bay Packers. Davante Adams routinely got the best of Peters. This week he’ll likely draw a ton of Thomas who is one of the best receivers in the league. Thomas has 58 receptions for 669 yards and four touchdowns on the season. A route running technician with vice hands for grips, Thomas is a severely underrated player. Even though things point to Thomas having the upper hand in this game, I think Peters might perform well. Thomas isn’t a speedy receiver who specializes in going deep, so Peters will have the opportunity to create a cushion between himself and Thomas and let his instincts do the rest.
WR Cooper Kupp vs CB P.J. Williams
From all accounts it sounds like Kupp will return to the field on Sunday and that’ll prove to be huge for the offense. Not only is Kupp simply a tremendous player who can gain separation on any cornerback, he’s crucial on third downs and extending drives. This week he’ll fetch Williams in coverage who is, well.... not good. Even though Williams won a player of the week award this week for his pick-six against the Vikings, he was absolutely abused all game in coverage. Kupp should have an absolute field day against Williams.
OLB Dante Fowler Jr vs OT’s Terron Armstead/Ryan Ramczyk
If you want to see an immediate battle and test for Fowler, it’s this week. The edge rusher has two sacks on the season but has proven to be a pest for opposing tackles when rushing the passer. This week Fowler (and the other Rams edge’s) will face PFF’s #2 and #3 rated offensive tackle’s on the season in Armstead and Ramcyzk. I wouldn’t expect a ton of production because these bookend tackles are simply terrific, but the interior pass rush (Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers) should be a whole lot more productive.
RT Rob Havenstein vs DE Cameron Jordan
Conversely, the Rams themselves have a fantastic pair of tackles and this week their RT Rob Havenstein will battle against one of the best defensive ends in the league in Jordan. Jordan has five sacks on the season and is a major player in run defense. On the flip side, Havenstein is PFF’s 5th-overall tackle so he’s pretty damn good himself.
QB Jared Goff vs Saints’ secondary
Jared Goff has played the Saints twice in his short career. Jared Goff has also torched the Saints defense twice in his short career. In two games vs the Saints he’s combined for 568 passing yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. This time around I wouldn’t be shocked if Goff could get relatively close to eclipsing that in one game (Say 400+ yards and 4+ TD’s). The Rams’ offense will be humming.
ILB Mark Barron/Cory Littleton vs RB Alvin Kamara
Kamara is one of the leagues most dangerous weapons as he can make plays both as a runner and receiver. Kamara already has nine touchdowns on the season and nearly 800 combined yards. Kamara torched the Rams in 2017 with a combined 190 yards and two touchdowns.