In what is expected to be an offensive game, the Los Angeles Rams host the Denver Broncos in a Christmas Day matchup. And offensive doesn’t mean exhilarating long passes, and electrifying runs for big chunks of yardage, all leading to a scoring bonanza. But rather the literal definition, disagreeable to the senses.
Both teams are amongst the poorest performing offenses in the NFL, particularly bad on converting on third downs. 40 percent of Rams drives go three and out, 38 percent for the Broncos. Denver is the league’s lowest scoring team at 15.6 points per game, followed closely by L.A. at 16.4. The Broncs have shown a little scoring life in the past two weeks, scoring 24 in a win oner the Arizona Cardinals last week and 28 in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. The Rams have not scored 24 points in a game since Week 6.
Here's the rate at which each offense has gone three and out this season. Look at the Lions go #restoreit pic.twitter.com/dHCYaVUBxI— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) December 21, 2022
Overall, it has been a highly disappointing year for the Broncos and their high-profile quarterback Russell Wilson, who returns to the lineup after missing two games in the concussion protocol. The Broncs have been involved in 11 one-score games, going 3-8.
Wilson loves to throw the deep ball and defenses are checking him with deep zone coverages. His completion percentage, touchdown percentage, and net yards gained per pass attempt are well below his previous career lows. For the season, he’s completed 60.4 percent of passes for 2805 yards and 11 touchdowns. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Juedy are the top receivers, combining for 101 catches, 1351, yards and seven touchdowns.
Denver’s top two running backs are no longer on the roster. Javonte Williams (204 yards) went down to a knee injury in Week 4 and veteran Melvin Gordon (318 yds) was released in Week 12. 32 year-old Latavius Murray has become RB#1 with 510 yards and 4 touchdowns. QB Wilson has added 215.
The blitzing Bronco defense, 33 percent of snaps, is their strong suit. They give up 18.1 points per game, 3rd best in the league, only allow third down conversions at a 32.1 percent clip (2nd best), and are the best in red zone scores allowed (37.5%). Linebackers Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell have combined for 230 tackles. Dre’Mont Jones leads in sacks (6.5) and QB hits (10).
How to follow the game
Date: Sunday, December 25
Kickoff: 1:30 pm PST
Location: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca.
Watch it live: Nationally on CBS, Nickelodeon, and DirecTV Sunday Ticket.
Live stream: Sling TV, L.A. Rams official app, NFL Plus, Hulu Live, fubo TV, DirecTV STREAM (formerly known as AT&T TV), and many others.
Listen: ESPN LA 710 AM and affiliates, KLSD 1360 AM (San Diego), KKUU HD2 (Palm Springs), KTIE 590 AM (Riverside), KAVL 610 AM and 106.7 FM (Lancaster), KSMA 1240 AM and 99.5 FM (Santa Maria), and KMET 1490 AM (Banning), 93.1 Jack FM, and Tu Liga 1330 AM and affiliates, KTMZ 1220 AM (Pomona), KWAC 1490 AM (Bakersfield), KGST 1600 AM (Fresno), KCAL 1410 AM (Riverside), and KXLM 102.9 FM/KOXR 910 AM (both in Oxnard/Ventura).
Current betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: LA Rams +3 -110
Over/under total: 36.5 -110
Money line: LA Rams +130 / Den Broncos -150