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LA Rams-Chargers: Five Rams to watch

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will take on their cross town rivals in week 3 and there are a ton of juicy story lines to be had. There’s the obligatory #FightForLA, but you also have Melvin Gordon v. Todd Gurley, the relationship between owners Stan Kroenke and Dean Spanos, along with a slew of others that I won’t bother to delve into too much here.

Let’s not waste any more time... here are five Rams to keep an eye on Sunday.

Todd Gurley

Gurley is out to prove that his 2017 production was no fluke. He has 4 TDs and 220 yards from scrimmage and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. With Melvin Gordon out to prove that he’s no slouch either, I expect them both to have a little extra spunk in their step come gametime.

Brandin Cooks

Cooks is averaging nearly 125 yards per game in the Rams high octane offense and has silenced many of the doubters who said the Rams were silly to give up a 1st round pick over the offseason to acquire him.

He hasn’t found paydirt yet in 2018, but if he keeps connecting with QB Jared Goff, that will change soon. Cooks faces a stiff test this week in CB Casey Hayward, but he will still make an impact one way or another. Hayward can’t cover Cooks AND Robert Woods AND Cooper Kupp....

Aaron Donald

You can’t justify leaving Donald off this list. He’s a blast to watch and is out to prove that his big contract isn’t changing his approach to the game.

Plus, after not getting a sack in the first two games of the season he’s due for a big game.

John Johnson

Johnson got absolutely worked by Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook in the first half of the season opener. After a solid rookie season, he has looked shaky at times this season and will have to be on his toes against the Chargers.

The Chargers lack that big, fast TE that Johnson struggles with, but with ILB Mark Barron likely out again for this matchup he will have to support the run defense more. I’m interested to see if he’s up to the challenge.

Sam Ficken

With K Greg Zuerlein out the next month and change with a groin injury, the Rams will turn to Ficken. Special teams coordinator John Fassel is familiar with Ficken from his stint with the Rams late last season, and hopefully coach bones can work some magic with him.

Fickens was underwhelming last season and will need to perform much better than he did last season (2-3 FG, 4-5 PAT) if he wants a long term future in the NFL.