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Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns: Matchups to watch revisited

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After an ugly performance, the L.A. Rams escaped Cleveland with another win. We’re going to revisit the matchups to watch.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams turned in another winning performance on Sunday Night Football on the road against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were the media darling heading into the season, though they’ve yet to look anything like everyone expected. The Rams on the other hand are one of the best teams in the league and though they’ve yet to put together a full performance, they continue to get by winning two close games while searching for an offensive rhythm.

Let’s revisit the matchups to watch:

QB Jared Goff versus Browns secondary

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

This game was a bumpy performance for Jared Goff, even with the entire Browns’ secondary sidelined due to injury. Goff had some darts that he ripped into tight coverage, though he also had two interceptions and a fumble, and three turnovers is simply far too many. The Rams should have tested the Browns’ cornerbacks more often, but that’s a complaint for a different place. Goff needs to be more careful with the ball moving forward.

LT Greg Robinson versus EDGE Dante Fowler Jr.

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Just as we all suspected, Greg Robinson is still indeed bad. I cannot recall if he actually allowed any sacks in his direction, though I know for sure he had at least one or two flags as he jumped early when Aaron Donald lined up in his direction. As a whole, the Rams’ defensive line did well even though the Browns had a plan to get the ball out of Baker Mayfield’s hands quickly.

RT Rob Havenstein versus EDGE Myles Garrett

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Myles Garrett did collect himself a sack, though the Rams’ offensive line as a whole was pretty solid in pass protection. Sure, they had some gaffs (mostly coming on miscommunication), which is natural when you have three interior offensive lineman with nearly zero NFL experience. They performed admirably though, and Rob Havenstein had himself a solid bounce back game after a rough outing against the New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan.

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

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

The entire secondary should take a bow with how they performed, as all six guys (seven if you include Troy Hill) were spectacular throughout the contest. Superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had six receptions for 56 yards on nine targets, though it felt like less as none of the catches were ever any real threat. Both Nickell Robey-Coleman and Aqib Talib had great plays in coverage against OBJ on multiple occasions.

WR Brandin Cooks versus CB Greedy Williams

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Greedy Williams actually ended up inactive even though he was questionable. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks lead the Rams with 112 receiving yards on eight receptions (12 targets), though it was Cooper Kupp who did the most damage roasting cornerbacks with his 102-yard and two-touchdown performance. Cooks had a drop or two in the contest and another two or three on the season. He’ll need to clean that up moving forward, though Cooks has been very solid so far in 2019.