clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders: Matchups to watch

A look at who the potential playmakers could be that could decide things for the Rams in Week 1.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We made it. We finally made it.

Now just three days out from gameday the Los Angeles Rams are finalizing their gameplan for the Oakland Raiders. The student, Head Coach Sean McVay, looks to outsmart the teacher, Head Coach Jon Gruden, in a matchup of two California teams in week one on Monday Night Football.

The Rams are severely more talented and anyone without a lick of bias can admit to that. With that being said, there are still specific matchups to watch out for as they’ll tilt the outcome of the game.

Let’s have a look at the matchups to watch:

RB Todd Gurley vs. MLB Derrick Johnson

Gurley is a man amongst boys simply put. After destroying the league last year, look for the Rams running back to start out hot in week one vs the Raiders. The Raiders simply lack speed on the defensive side of the ball, and that’ll be exposed by soon-to-be 36-year old linebacker Derrick Johnson. The Rams should run the ball early and often stretching the Raiders defense both vertically and horizontally (outside zone runs). Lastly, the Rams should look to expose Johnson in space by motioning Gurley around and letting him use his open field speed and great catching ability.

WR Brandin Cooks vs. CBs Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin

You seen this one coming, didn’t you?

The entire stable of Rams receivers will be dangerous in this game (Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp), so I don’t mean to single out Cooks. The best part about the potential for Cooks in this game is his electrifying speed and ability to alter defenders’ gameplans because of it. If (more like when) the Rams can get their running game going, look for the offense to set up a few playaction deep shots to Cooks (particularly on the post).

Rams’ DL vs. Raiders’ OL

I simply couldn’t break this one down.

The Raiders will start a rookie first-round pick at LT in Kolton Miller. In base downs, he may get some reps vs DT Aaron Donald. Good luck son. Moving forward, the interior battle is going to be a display of insane talent on both sides. The Raiders’ interior offensive line is loaded with LG Kelechi Osemele, C Rodney Hudson and RG Gabe Jackson. The Rams’ trio counters as Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers. This is going to be one hell of a matchup throughout the game. Look for both sides to win some battles.

CB Marcus Peters vs. QB Derek Carr

Peters has played the Raiders five times in his career; he’s registered four pass deflections, two interceptions, and a forced fumble in those games. Peters is a skillful and smart gambler at the cornerback position. Not only that, but he has the most elite ball skills in the NFL today. Carr knows all this as Peters is a former Kansas City Chief — a division rival.

Look for these two to try and outsmart each other based on their familiarity with each other.

Will the young and hungry Rams destined for great things win, or will the old and experienced Raiders best them?

I take the Rams in a convincing win. Get ready, week one is coming.