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Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns: Matchups to watch

Sunday Night Football is incoming. Let’s rip through the matchups as all eyes are on them this week.

NFL: SEP 15 Saints at Rams Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2-0 Los Angeles Rams and the 1-1 Cleveland Browns are set to kickoff against each other on Sunday Night Football at the Dawg Pound in week three. The Rams have yet to put together a “full” game, though they once again look poised to go far and potentially back to the Super Bowl. The Browns started the year off in a rough manner as the Tennessee Titans blew them out, though they rebounded with a win against the New York Jets, who finished the game with two quarterbacks who’re better suited on the bench.

Let’s take a look at the matchups to watch as they’ll be the key to success for either team:

QB Jared Goff versus Browns secondary

Jared Goff has shown flashes of what made him one of the richest quarterbacks in NFL history, though he has yet to hit his peak production, matching what he was able to do in 2018. Goff has missed some open receivers and thrown an inaccurate pass or two, waiting to truly hit his rhythm as a passer through two games. The Browns have yet to allow a single touchdown to a receiver, though the questionable statuses’ (injuries) for their duo at cornerback in Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams could threaten that statistic. Goff could have a long game with the talented Browns defense, or he could face a unit that’s severely undermanned as both the aforementioned corners are banged up and starting safeties Damarious Randall (ruled out) and Morgan Burnett could miss the contest too.

LT Greg Robinson versus EDGE Dante Fowler Jr.

Good ol’ Greg Robinson, we finally meet again. Robinson is one of the biggest busts in recent memory as his career fizzled out with the Rams quickly, eventually latching on as the blindside protector in Cleveland. Robinson is sure to have his hands full with Dante Fowler Jr. who’s quietly emerging as a threat off the edge. Fowler has yet to record a sack by beating an offensive tackle, making this matchup an extremely juicy one as Robinson is a major liability. The Rams’ defensive line — as a whole — has the opportunity to dictate and dominate this contest.

RT Rob Havenstein versus EDGE Myles Garrett

Conversely, on the opposite side of things, Myles Garrett is likely licking his chops as he’ll see a lot of Rob Havenstein in this contest as he flips between right and left end. Hav just came off one of the worst games in his career as he was manhandled by New Orleans Saints’ edge Cameron Jordan. This is a great game for Hav to bounce back, though it’ll be incredibly tough as Garrett currently leads the NFL with five sacks.

WR Odell Beckham Jr. versus CB’s Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters

Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the best players in the league, plain and simple. OBJ is coming off a six-catch 161-yard and one-touchdown performance against the Jets, with his highlight play being an 89-yard catch and run that resulted in a touchdown. The Rams’ duo of boundary corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters have been very solid in 2019, though they’ve yet to really be tested. This matchup has the chance to end badly for either side. Talib and Peters need to ensure they don’t allow OBJ to get over top of their coverage and strike with a major play.

WR Brandin Cooks versus CB Greedy Williams

Brandin Cooks is one of the best vertical receivers in the league, and he finally got a chance to showcase it in 2019 as he caught a beautiful pass from Goff down the left side of the field for a 57-yard gain last week against the Saints. Greedy Williams — who is listed as questionable in the contest — could get a lot of Cooks in coverage. Williams is a rookie who’d be playing in only his third NFL game and was a noted gambler in college, proving this matchup could result in a recipe for disaster for the Browns.

These are the main matchups I’m keeping my eyes on, with many more that’ll help dictate the result of this contest. With the Rams having a more talented and far healthier roster, I’d expect a win on their first Sunday Night Football appearance in 2019.