The Los Angeles Rams have been an offensive juggernaut as of late, scoring a total of 110 points in the last three games — even more impressive is that they did this against the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, currently two of the top defenses in the league — and now they have an ideal matchup against the Washington Commanders.
Washington is the NFL’s worst-ranked defense in points allowed. The Commanders have allowed at least 29 points in four of their last five games, and Matthew Stafford could join elite company with another strong performance against the dead-last defense.
The Commanders are particularly bad against the pass, again ranked last in the NFL, giving up an average of 266 yards to opposing quarterbacks this season according to foxsports.com. It does not help that the Commanders traded their two best pass rushers at the trade deadline this season, a move that has tanked their once formidable defensive line. Chase Young was traded to the NFC West rival 49ers, while Montez Sweat was moved to the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, the Rams are firing on all cylinders on offense. Matthew Stafford looks as good as he ever has in an LA uniform, throwing for a total of 867 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception in the last three games.
This is a beautiful throw by Matthew Stafford— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 10, 2023
Touchdown to Cooper Kupp
Running back Kyren Williams has also been fantastic, rushing for 345 yards and a rushing touchdown, with another two touchdowns receiving as well, since his return from IR. Rookie Puka Nacua is somehow continuing his historic pace, and even Cooper Kupp has started to rebound the last two weeks after a slow start to the season.
All this said, this matchup has the looks of a quintessential trap-game at it’s finest. Los Angeles’ high powered offense vs the worst defense in the league means that the Rams cannot over look the Commanders or take them too lightly. Washington has struggled on defense but also took the former Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the wire in both of their divisional game, as well as the Seattle Seahawks, losing on a last second field goal.
On paper this is a very winnable game for LA, but at this point it’s also a must-win for the Rams, as they fell another game behind Minnesota with their loss to the Ravens last week. Green Bay’s loss to New York does help their chances of staying in playoff contention, however, Los Angeles will need to win here on out to keep up in the race. If the Rams can handle their business this week, and the rest of the season, they’ve proven that they can hang with the best teams in the NFL on any given Sunday, they just need to get into the tournament first.