The Rams have figured out their offensive woes that plagued them for half of the 2023 season and it has led to them being a feared team in the final stretch of the year. Here’s how well one of the NFL’s current high-octane offenses match up against their next four opponents left on the schedule.
Before we look at how the rest of these defenses have looked over the last three games, here’s how the Rams offense has looked over the last three.
33.7 PPG (3rd in NFL)
422 Total YDs/G (2nd in NFL)
263.3 Pass YDs/G (6th in NFL)
158.7 Rush YDs/G (3rd in NFL)
4.0 TDs/G (4th in NFL)
23.0 1st Downs/G (T-3rd in NFL)
6.3 YDs per Play/G (3rd in NFL)
Washington Commanders - Week 15 @ SoFi Stadium
The Rams take on the Commanders this weekend. This defense has been allergic to stopping the passing game as they rank near the bottom in that category. Regardless of that this team is giving up over 40 points-per-game over the last three games. Here’s how the rest of the stats stack up for the Commanders defense in the last three games they have played:
40.3 PPG ALLOWED (LAST IN NFL)
87.5% RED ZONE TD SCORING % ALLOWED (30TH IN NFL)
6.9 YARDS PER PLAY/G (LAST IN NFL)
376.3 TOTAL YDs/G (27th in NFL)
271.7 PASS YDs/G (28th in NFL)
104.7 RUSH YDs/G (14TH IN NFL)
As you can see the Commanders best bet if their run defense but seeing as how Kyren Williams just ran for 110-plus yards against the Ravens stout run defense, one has to imagine Washington isn’t going to be anything that Kyren hasn’t seen before or can’t handle. I would expect the Rams to have their way with this Commanders defense that they stack very well up against.
New Orleans Saints - Week 16 @ SoFi Stadium
Cameron Jordan and the Saints come to Los Angeles on a short week to try and steal a tiebreaker from the Rams in a very tight playoff race. The New Orleans defense has been excellent in the last few weeks in the red zone and in the passing game in general. However, the Saints achilles heel is the run game as they are giving up 191.3 rushing yards per game over those last three games. Here’s how the rest of the stats stack up for them over the last three:
21 PPG ALLOWED (17th in NFL)
44.4% RED ZONE TD SCORING % ALLOWED (5TH IN NFL)
5.3 YARDS PER PLAY/G (19th in NFL)
348.7 TOTAL YDs/G (18th in NFL)
157.3 PASS YDs/G (2nd in NFL)
191.3 RUSH YDs/G (LAST IN NFL)
The Saints best bet is limiting the explosive plays and the passing yards. They are likely not going to be able to stop Kyren Williams or any Rams running back for that matter with that run defense. One can expect a heavy dose of runs on a short week anyway for the Rams but Sean McVay, Mike LaFleur and Kyren Williams especially will have to be salivating at the thought of this matchup. I don’t see any way the Rams don’t run all over this Saints defense but this could be a tricky game if McVay opts to go more pass heavy and challenge and very stout secondary.
New York Giants - Week 17 @ MetLife Stadium
The Rams will be spending New Years Eve not far from where the ball will drop in Times Square. This offense as mentioned has been great but the Giants defense has been as well. Wink Martindale has this defense playing with synergy and a mean streak. It does not matter that this team is 5-8 and the Giants defense lets you know they don’t care what their record is every game you see them. The Giants are giving up the fourth-fewest points per game over the last three games. Here’s how the Giants defense’s other stats look over the last three:
16 PPG ALLOWED (4th in NFL)
50% RED ZONE TD SCORING % ALLOWED (6th in NFL)
4.8 YARDS PER PLAY/G (T-6th in NFL)
337.7 TOTAL YDs/G (16th in NFL)
189.7 PASS YDs/G (10th in NFL)
148 RUSH YDs/G (26th in NFL)
The Giants defense doesn’t give up many points and their home defensive splits are absolutely horrifying as they in the top 10 in just about everything. This pass defense could be a problem for Matthew Stafford, Kayvon Thibodeaux is having a breakout second season in the NFL and that’s not including the dominance from Dexter Lawrence upfront in the trenches. The best way to beat the Giants is run the ball. They are giving up the 26th most yards on the ground over the last three games and Kyren Williams is averaging the NFL’s second-most yards per game behind only Christian McCaffrey. This defense gives the Giants a fighting chance and the Rams will have to attack them on the ground and play mistake-free football to avoid a heartbreaking upset to Tommy DeVito.
San Francisco 49ers - Week 18 @ Levi’s Stadium
The Rams wrap up their season with a finale in San Francisco that may or may not be to decide their playoff fate and may or may not be the NFL’s final game of the year on Sunday Night Football. The 49ers defense since the last time the Rams faced them have added the likes of Chase Young and Randy Gregory to an already stout defense but they did lose Talanoa Hufanga in the back end of their secondary for the season. The 49ers are only allowing a touchdown in the red zone 33.3 percent of the time in the last three games which is downright crazy. Here’s how the rest of their last three game stats stack up:
16 PPG ALLOWED (T-5th in NFL)
33.3% RED ZONE TD SCORING % ALLOWED (3rd in NFL)
4.9 YARDS PER PLAY/G (T-9th in NFL)
292.3 TOTAL YDs/G (8th in NFL)
224.3 PASS YDs/G (19th in NFL)
68.0 RUSH YDs/G (2nd in NFL)
The 49ers are as advertised, they are a really good football team. The Rams offense is even better though since the last time the 49ers played them and had some trouble slowing them down. Cooper Kupp is back, he missed the last time the two teams matched up and Kyren Williams is an astronomically more productive, explosive and confident running back then when he made his first NFL start against the Niners. This is not an unstoppable defense either, the Rams will have to keep Stafford upright which is no easy task but if they can do that Stafford with the way he’s playing should be able to dice up that secondary which has given up 224.3 passing yards per game.
The 49ers are absolutely dominant against the run but so were the Browns and Ravens, two teams in which Kyren Williams ran for a combined almost 200 yards against. The bottom line is it’s not easy to beat the 49ers but the Rams gave it a pretty damn good attempt the last time these two squared off and while the 49ers have improved since, the Rams improvement feels a bit bigger. Let us not forget Drew Lock of all people went into San Francisco and completed 71 percent of his passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford is a much better quarterback than Lock and the Rams are a better team than Seattle. We will see what happens but the Rams all of a sudden stack up decently well against this team.
My final projections:
Rams 38, Commanders 13
Rams 24, Saints 13
Rams 30, Giants 20
Rams 23, 49ers 20
The Rams match up well against all four teams offensively and have plenty to fall back on now with an offense that his their stride at the perfect time.