In a week that the Rams desperately need to get back in the win column, this game has the potential for L.A. to 'get right' as they host the Jaguars in Week 13.
Just when the Rams could do no wrong for the greater part of the first two months of the season, they've hit a wall in recent weeks, dropping each of their last three games. The offense isn't nearly as efficient as it had been early on and the defense has shown vulnerability in key areas that teams have begun to exploit.
As for the Jaguars, they've struggled in all three phases, holding them back to just two wins over the first 12 weeks. A rookie quarterback and all, the Jaguars have shown progress as the season plays out but nonetheless, this is a game the Rams need to take advantage of before dipping their toes back into an NFC West division showdown in the following week against the Arizona Cardinals.
Here are the top storylines leading into this Week 13 contest:
1. Will the Rams offense returns to its efficient ways?
Matthew Stafford has thrown five interceptions over the last three games and the offense has been forced to play from behind as a result of it. Getting out to an early lead will be critical as it relates to the offense getting back to their identity: establishing the run and passing off of the run game. The Jaguars allow an average of 25.7 points per game, which ranks 26th in the NFL. Stafford took a step forward last week, leading the offense to 26 points. However, some off-target throws combined with a pick-six threw a wrench into his outing, but with Jacksonville's defense coming to town, this should be a week that he'll be able to clean up the details.
2. How does the Rams defense stack up against Trevor Lawrence?
After a shaky start to his rookie campaign, Lawrence is beginning to settle in. Typically, for rookies, turnovers are a common theme. Lawrence was guilty of that over the first two months but after gaining more familiarity, he's settled down. Lawrence has only thrown one interception since Week 9. However, his scoring totals include just one passing touchdown over the past four games, meaning Jacksonville has heavily relied on their running game with James Robinson carrying the load. The Rams defense has seen opposing teams run the ball and have success in recent weeks and the Jaguars may attempt the same formula for attacking the Rams. It wil be crucial for L.A. to sell out for the run in an effort to make the rookie quarterback rely on his arm in order to move the chains.
3. What kind of impact will Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller have?
Beckham and Miller both saw an extensive role in last week's game against the Packers. Following the game, Beckham came out with a minor injury as he's dealing with a hip pointer and was limited in Wednesday's practice. Nonetheless, he and the coaches have said he's getting up to speed with the offense, while still learning, but his efforts last week saw five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. As for Miller, he received 74% of the team's defensive snaps last week, totaling five tackles, one TFL and one quarterback hit. The Rams' new additions are coming along nicely and their roles should increase yet again this week in their home debut inside SoFi Stadium.
Season Records: Rams (7-4), Jaguars (2-9)
Previous Meeting: Rams defeated the Jaguars by the score of 27-17 in 2017.
Stat: Rams hold an all-time record over the Jaguars of 4-1.
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Odds: Rams -13
Keep An Eye On: How the Rams' banged-up wide receiver group faires
Rams' Key To Victory: Rams must get back to their identity, orchestrating a balanced offense.
Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1:05 p.m. PT
Location: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California)
Radio: 93.1 JACK FM
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