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Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Matchups to watch revisited

Lets take a look at how the Rams fared in the matchups to watch

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have managed to rattle off another convincing win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Now they head into week three by kicking off the week on Thursday Night Football versus the Minnesota Vikings.

Before we get into week four, let’s take a look at the matchups to watch from week three:

LT Andrew Whitworth/RT Rob Havenstein vs OLB Melvin Ingram

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Melvin Ingram is one of the best pass rushers in the league. Luckily for the Rams, Andrew Whitworth is also one of the best in the league - though his job is the exact opposite of Ingram. With Joey Bosa ruled out, the Chargers will rely heavily on Ingram (1.5 sacks last week) and blitzes to try and affect QB Jared Goff. Since Ingram moves around the formation, both Whitworth and Rob Havenstein will need to be ready for battle come Sunday.

This battle turned out to be a massive win for the Rams’ offensive tackles. Melvin Ingram was simply invisible the entire game. I’m not sure that he even had a pressure, that’s how much time Jared Goff had in the pocket. If the Rams’ offense is going to continue to click it’s because the offensive line continues to dominate.

CB’s Marcus Peters/Aqib Talib vs WR’s Keenan Allen/Mike Williams

Last week’s matchup to watch:

This is going to be one of the funnest battles of the entire week three NFL slate. Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib both have plenty of familiarity playing the Chargers as both were division rivals for years. In four years of battles with QB Philip Rivers, Talib only registered one interception though his shutdown coverage ability has been among the leagues best. Peters is a different enigma as he logged four interceptions and a forced fumble in six games against the chargers. Both corners will need to be on their p’s and q’s facing one of the best WR’s in the league in Keenan Allen.

Well, this battle couldn’t have gone much worse. First, Mike Williams smoked Marcus Peters for a 45-yard touchdown in the first quarter (could have been a missed assignment). Not only that, but both Peters and Talib got hurt in this game - with the latter sustaining a high ankle sprain that may require surgery and the former a calf strain that could force him to miss week four. Williams finished with 81 yards and two touchdowns, though Allen was held in check with only 44 yards.

Rams’ DL vs Chargers’ OL

Last week’s matchup to watch:

The Rams’ defensive line has been as advertised: simply dominant. They’ve been so good that the opponents’ gameplans have been to simply get rid of the ball as quick as possible and avoid the punishment the Rams’ defensive line is capable of dishing out. As good as that formula has been for the Rams the first two weeks, it’s time to make hay. Philip Rivers loves to drop back in the pocket and throw the ball to every level. The Rams’ defensive line will finally get the chance to actually rush the passer and accumulate some sacks.

This one was probably a wash considering the Rams won a few battles (two sacks) though majority of the day was clean pockets for Philip Rivers. The Rams’ defensive line just needs to hit home more. Pressures are great, but we just seen what they can be worth, and that’s nothing when a good QB carves you up.

WR Brandin Cooks vs CB Casey Hayward

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Brandin Cooks is the top dog for the receiving core. Casey Hayward is the top dog for the Chargers’ secondary. This is going to be one hell of a battle from two brilliant football players. Look for both sides to win some battles, though Cooks has shown a penchant for making huge plays with the Rams in his first two games.

Brandin Cooks had himself another very good game registering seven receptions for 90 yards, though it was Robert Woods who tore the Chargers up with 10 receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper Kupp got into the action with four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown as well. This can be considered a massive win for the weapons of the Rams.

K Sam Ficken vs. himself

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Sam Ficken is a clear step down from the pro bowl kicker that is Greg Zuerlein. Ficken went 2-for-3 last season with the Rams with a long of just 23 yards. Ficken also went 4-for-5 on extra points. Ficken seemed improved this preseason going 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points. Let’s see how Ficken fares in his first regular season game back.

Meh. I am quite surprised that Ficken was actually able to score all five of his extra points, though he didn’t do great otherwise. You simply can’t kick the ball out of bounds on a kickoff in this league - that free yardage netted the Chargers an immediate scoring drive. Not only that, but a last-second field goal attempt from 46 yards before halftime was no good. Those are the situations where missing Greg Zuerlein will hurt the most.

ILB Cory Littleton/SS Marqui Christian vs RB Austin Ekeler

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Many people will ask: why not RB Melvin Gordon? Well, I think Ekeler is the more explosive/dangerous player. Gordon is only averaging 5.9 yards per touch with Ekeler averaging 9.3 yards per touch. Ekeler is much more shifty and dangerous as a receiver and Rivers loves to check the ball down. Look out for Littleton and Christian to be in coverage most of the game.

The Rams’ defense managed to hold both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler in check. Littleton had a tremendous day, though it came from the likes of a blocked punt on special teams that was recovered by FS Blake Countess for a touchdown.

Another game, another win. It seems to be becoming a theme, so let’s hope the Rams can continue the streak in week four.