The Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles matchup in 2017 proved to be one of the more exciting games of the season. Initially starting out slowly, the Rams mounted a fierce comeback, though ultimately lost the game. The loss of RT Rob Havenstein for one snap proved to be quite costly as the Eagles got a sack-fumble on the one snap he missed, and that was simply too much for the Rams to overcome.
This time around, the Eagles are likely to miss QB Carson Wentz from the get-go, so the Rams should be better prepared to handle QB Nick Foles.
Let’s jump into the matchups to watch:
RB Todd Gurley vs OLB Nigel Bradham
What better time for a star running back to bounce back than a week after he wasn’t used? Gurley abused the Eagles in 2017, though just like last week, simply wasn’t used nearly enough. Gurley mounted 13 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns, he also chipped in with three receptions for 39 yards. The Eagles’ run defense is ranked 28th in yards-per-carry allowed at 4.9, setting the scene for a massive game from the Rams’ workhorse. Time to let the pony ride, the Rams need to design a gameplan on the back of their best player.
RG Austin Blythe vs DT Fletcher Cox
Austin Blythe has performed as one of the best guards in the league, though he fetches another extremely tough assignment in Fletcher Cox this week. Cox is arguably the second best defensive tackle in the league right after our very own Aaron Donald. If the Rams want to be successful on the offensive side of the ball, they’ll need to limit Cox’s destruction.
DT Aaron Donald vs Brandon Brooks
The Eagles may have Fletcher Cox, but we have Aaron Donald. Donald is destroying worlds as he’s currently sitting at 16.5 sacks on the season and well within range of breaking the single-season defensive tackle sack record of 18 sacks by Keith Millard, set in 1989. His opposition is very good in Brandon Brooks, but Donald is simply in another class. Look for him to create history on Sunday Night Football in Los Angeles.
SS John Johnson III/Marqui Christian vs TE Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz is by far and away the Eagles’ best weapon offensively. He’s currently sitting at 98 receptions for 1,016 yards and six touchdowns on the year. He’s on pace to beat the all-time single-season TE receptions record of 110, set by Jason Witten in 2012. The Rams responsible for covering him will be strong safeties John Johnson III and Marqui Christian (who’ll be subbed on for ILB Mark Barron). They’ll need to everything they can to limit Ertz, though it will be tough in zone coverage.
QB Jared Goff vs Philadelphia’s secondary
Coming off arguably the worst game of his career, Jared Goff will have a chance at a major rebound this week. The Eagles’ secondary has been ravished with injuries with starters SS Rodney McLeod (former Ram), CB’s Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, and Sidney Jones all out. Goff will have a chance to light up the patchwork group of Corey Graham, Malcolm Jenkins (who’s still really good), Cre’Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, and Chandon Sullivan.
LT Andrew Whitworth vs RE Michael Bennett
Let me preface by saying this, Michael Bennett hasn’t practiced this week and might very well miss this game. Now, if he does play, he’s going to be a major issue for the offensive line. Bennett plays DE on base downs and kicks to DT at times on passing situations, and boy is he still disruptive. Andrew Whitworth will get his fair share of Bennett, so he’ll have his hands full all game with the duo of Bennett and Brandon Graham.