Fresh off the bye, the Los Angeles Rams are rested and ready to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
The Sean McVay-led squad decimated its last two opponents and go on the right track after a three-game skid. That was against the lowly 1-7 Atlanta Falcons and the win-less Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers present a tougher foe for the LA Rams. It will be a benchmark game of sorts to see if the Rams are truly past their “woes.“
Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s Steelers are a talented bunch on both sides of the ball. While running back James Connor might miss the matchup, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is more than enough of a hassle to contain. It is a plus for the Rams that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out. Second-year signal caller Mason Rudolph is not on Big Ben’s level. On defense, T.J. Watt continues to bring the raucous to quarterbacks and proving he is more than just J.J’s lil’ brother.
With the looming challenges up front and present, lets get into the Rams players to watch.
RT Rob Havenstein
I was tempted to list the entire line once again but I’ll limit to just Big Rob. The Steelers boast a good pass rushing duo in the aforementioned T.J. Watt (7.5 sacks) and fifth-year OLB Bud Dupree (6 sacks). Both also possess refined ball-skills — forcing five fumbles between the two.
It will be up to Havenstein to stop/slow one half of this pas rush duo. Hav has not played up to par this year (part of the offensive line woes). With edge rushers ready to bring the BOOM to QBs, he better get with it.
CB Jalen Ramsey
One of the first threats I mentioned when bringing up the Steelers was JuJu, and for good reason. The third-year pro leads Pittsburgh in every receiving statistical category. It will be up to Ramsey to quiet him.
The fourth-year pro has done well in his short amount of action in blue and yellow. It is also worth mentioning that Jalen said he is not fully comfortable yet in Wade Phillips’ scheme. With two weeks under his belt, plus the Bye Week, Ramsey should be more familiar and play more loosely, freely.
S Taylor Rapp
Rookie Taylor Rapp has been a pleasant (not so much of a) surprise for the Rams. He is a surefire tackling machine. He covers tight ends in pass coverage, and plays stoutly against the run.
Rapp will have to be his uberly sound self once again. The Steelers have an above average tight end in Vance McDonald. He is tied for the touchdown lead with Smith-Schuster and WR Diontae Johnson with three. Putting a halt to Vance would be huge for the defense.
WR Cooper Kupp
The first three players listed this week are key Rams that will assist in limiting key opposing players. These next two are key players that will help the Rams SECURE THE BAG.
Kupp, as we all know, is one of those players. The last time we saw him out on the field he posted 220 yards on seven catches. Those numbers are absolutely absurd. Stupid, dummy.
Kupp and the rest of the receivers corps will have to ball out. If the receivers ball, then quarterback Jared Goff. will as well.
RB Darrell Henderson Jr.
The ground game is a work in progress. We fully comprehend this notion. So while we may or may not get a productive day out of starter Todd Gurley, we are sure to receive a heavy dose of Darrell.
Hendo registered his biggest day to date last week with 49 yards. It would be awesome if Hendo goes off for a long gain or a TD versus the Steelers.