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Can the Rams get their first defining non-division win against the Ravens?

The Rams are 7.5-point underdogs against the Ravens

Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams sit at 6-6 through 13 weeks and are right in the middle of the playoff race as the NFL hits December. However, out of the Rams’ six wins, four of them are against the NFC West and the other two are against the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns. The best team that the Rams have beaten is the Browns and they were starting quarterback Joe Flacco.

Unlike college football, quality wins don’t hold much weight in the NFL. However, if the Rams are going to be playoff contenders, it would be nice for them to have a quality win under their belt. When the Rams have played opponents this season, it’s ended with it being pretty obvious that Los Angeles still has a ways to go. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Rams are 7.5-point underdogs on the road. Can they get the upset against a very good Baltimore Ravens team?

Rams Offense vs. Ravens Defense

There is a 90 percent chance of rain on Sunday in Baltimore with projected winds up to 12mph. This could end up being another sloppy game in Baltimore much like the meeting back in 2021. With that being the case, it’s going to be important for the Rams to lean on Kyren Williams and the run game.

The Ravens defense this season ranks second against the pass, but are just outside the top-10 defending the run. In the 33-31 loss to the Browns last month, the Ravens gave up 107 yards and 6.3 yards per carry to Jerome Ford. It’s going to be important for the Rams to remain efficient on offense as they have over the past few weeks.

Matchup to Watch: Coleman Shelton vs. Michael Pierce

Pierce may be one of the best run-defending nose tackles in the NFL. He ranks ninth against the run according to Pro Football Focus and his 12 percent run stop percentage ranks fifth in the NFL. It will be up to Coleman Shelton and the interior of the Rams offensive line to take Pierce away from the play and not blow up their duo run concepts.

Rams Defense vs. Ravens Offense

This game is going to revolve around the run game and the Ravens have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL. When the game is within seven points, the Ravens have a pass-rate of just 53 percent. Baltimore averages 0.061 EPA per rush. The gap between them and the Miami Dolphins at two is about the same as the gap between the Dolphins at two and Chicago Bears at eight.

If the Rams can’t stop the run in this game, it’s goin to be a big problem. That starts with them containing Lamar Jackson which is easier said than done. There is going to be a lot of stress on Byron Young, Michael Hoecht, and Ernest Jones to slowing down Jackson.

Matchup to Watch: Zay Flowers vs. Rams Secondary

While the focus will be on stopping the Ravens run game, they also have weapons to target through the air as well. One of those players is Flowers. Flowers will line up across the formation and can win anywhere, but excels in the middle of the field. With no Mark Andrews, the Rams need to take away Flowers.

Prediction

There is no denying Lamar Jackson’s record against the NFC. Baltimore has outscored NFC opponents this season at home, 75-9. The Rams lost to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, 45-6 back in 2019. Jackson had five passing touchdowns in that game.

This Ravens team has a really good defense and playing at home with the weather not ideal likely suits Baltimore. However, the Ravens do have a tendency of giving up late leads. This is a team that is susceptible to the comeback and Matthew Stafford is one of the best at leading fourth quarter comebacks. Still, the Ravens are the better team and it’s very likely that the Rams three-game win streak ends here.

Prediction: Ravens 27, Rams 13