New Orleans- The Los Angeles Rams are very close with making another Super Bowl appearance, but they have the New Orleans Saints who stand in their way of going to Atlanta. Last week, the Rams dominated the Dallas Cowboys on the ground. Running backs C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley bruised the Cowboys’ secondary with running a combined of 273 yards on them, as well as Anderson scoring 4 touchdowns. Smash mouth football is what the Rams need to bring to the table against the Saints. That is who the Rams are and they need to get Gurley going quick. If Gurley and Anderson gets positive yards on 1st and second downs, the Rams could use the running backs as a decoy to run post corner routes, slants, and some deep throws, because now the Saints will load up the box to stop the run, which will leave one on one matchups down the field.
Against the Cowboys, Brandin Cooks caught 4 passes for 65 yards. Jared Goff did not need to put Cooks in a position to force feed him balls, because the Rams’ offensive line was opening holes and their running attack was damaging the egos of the Cowboys’ secondary. Against the Saints, Cooks will need to get started early. He will draw attention, because of his speed, so the Saints may put Eli Apple on Cooks to pressure him. On press coverages, Apple is pretty good, but with man coverage, Eli may need help over the top, because of Cooks’ speed. If Cooks can get open and Goff throws the ball perfectly for him, the Saints could be in trouble, because not many people can keep up with Cooks’ speed.
This is Goffs’ first time in a big game of this magnitude and he needs to be patient, get the Saints confused with some misdirection play, and be accurate with throwing the ball to the open receiver because the Saints have holes in that secondary.
On the defensive end, the Rams have to watch out for Taysom Hill. The Saints use Hill in different formations, as well as special teams. Against the Eagles, down by 14, Sean Payton called a fake punt at his own 30-yard line and Hill ran for the first down. The fake punt was the key factory in a victory over the Eagles because momentum shifted to the Saints.
Aarond Donald and Ndamukong Sue have to put pressure on the Saints’ offensive front. If they can put pressure on Drew Brees than the Rams have a shot to make life difficult for Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingrim. Both running back started slowly in the first half but picked it up in the second half as they won the possession time against the Eagles.
The Rams need to somehow manage Michael Thomas and how dangerous he is when he is on the field. The Rams are known to jump offsides a lot during the regular season and they have to understand that you can not give free yards up to Drew Brees. Brees just turned 40 and he has the best competition rate at 67.3% and 7 consecutive seasons over 4,500 yards in his career. The Rams cannot make any mistakes or costly penalties because the Saints have turned mistakes into points 50% of the time.
This game will be a battle of youth vs wisdom, from head coaches to quarterbacks. It will be chess match between both of these teams with only one team shooting their shot with adding a potential Super Bowl banner in their stadium
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