This week the 10-1 Los Angeles Rams travel to Detroit to face off against the 4-7 Lions. Although the Lions shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the Rams, this still is a must win game if the Rams want a chance at the 1 seed. For games when the Rams are heavily favored such as this one, I like to focus on individual players and evaluate how they perform. Listed below are the 3 Rams players I am keeping my eye on this week.
Aqib Talib is set to make his return this week as head coach Sean McVay says he expects the star cornerback to play. Now the amount of playing time remains to be seen, but it will be very nice for the Rams to have Talib back on the field. Talib will be able to make an instant impact and help out the Rams struggling secondary. In the 3 games Talib has played in this year, the Rams defense had only allowed 206 passing yards per game and 12 points per game. However, since Talib’s departure the Rams defense has allowed an abysmal 299 passing yards per game and 31 points per game. Even if Talib is limited, his presence alone will help improve a defense that has been struggling mightily. Furthermore, having Talib back will help take the added pressure off of Marcus Peters and hopefully get him back to playing at an elite level.
It is always fun to watch a player face off against his former team. This week, Suh will get to play in Detroit against the team that drafted him 2nd overall in 2010. So far this season Suh has 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries but has not made any giant game changing plays. Suh is known to be a very emotional player and having a chance to play against his former team in their building could lead to a big game. With the way Aaron Donald has been dominating as of late, I expect to see the Lions put almost all of the focus on him and less on Suh. Ideally, this will lead to Suh getting multiple opportunities to sack the quarterback and maybe even force a fumble.
Todd Gurley is the most electric and dominant running back in the NFL but this week I will be keeping a close eye on him for a completely different reason. Two weeks ago when the Rams faced the Chiefs, every offensive player had a huge game except for Todd Gurley. Gurley, who is usually a workhorse running back experienced his lowest amount of carries all season as he only had 12 and his lowest amount of total touches all year with 15. After the game, Gurley did not say he was injured but head coach Sean McVay admitted that the star running back was not 100% and thus was used in a limited role. Coming into this week, McVay and Gurley both said that he is 100% and will be getting his normal workload. Having the bye week last week was a huge help and I am confident that Gurley will look just like he did before the Chiefs game. However, if there is any indication that Gurley isn’t fully healthy or if the Rams are up big early, I could very well see McVay limiting his touches once again.
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