Parsing like Rams (7-4) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) will kick off Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PST at SoFi Stadium. The game will be played on the FOX channel.
When Rams has the ball: Quarterback Matthew Stafford is hoping to get back on track after squeezing the Rams into a hole in each of their past three games. On a losing streak to the Tennessee Titans, the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, he intercepted five assists and lost fumble. Three interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Stafford made 27 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Coach Sean McVeigh has recently ditched the action game that worked so effectively during his tenure, possibly due to the fact that he played from behind. Cooper Kupp leads the NFL with 92 hauls at 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. showed his dangerous speed against the Packers, catching a 54-yard touchdown pass. But Beckham suffered a thigh injury in the game. While Beckham is considered dubious, he said he would play on Sunday. Van Jefferson has scored at least 67 yards in two games. Running back Darrell Henderson got a quadriceps pull against the Packers. He hasn’t exercised this week, which is doubtful. Sony Michelle kicks off if Henderson takes a back seat. The Jaguars are led by midfielder Myles Jack, a former UCLA star who has 42 of the team’s best tackles. Midfielder Josh Allen has the best team 5.5 sacks and interceptions.
When the Jaguars are in possession of the ball: Defender Trevor Lawrence, top pick in 2021, has become less error prone as the season progresses. Lawrence 6’6 ” made nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Seven of these pitches were realized in the first three games. Lawrence has only had one interception pass in the last four. But the Jaguars are the second to last in the NFL in performance, averaging just 15.7 points per game. Backward runner James Robinson, who threw seven touchdowns, is questionable with heel and knee problems. Receiver Marvin Jones has 46 receptions on the team, three for landing. Lavisky Chenot Jr. has 45 traps. The addition of outside midfielder von Miller was supposed to contribute to the Rams defense, but in the two games he played, passing pressure was not a factor. Ultra rusher Leonard Floyd has 7.5 bags, lineman Aaron Donald has six. In the last two games, the defense failed to achieve a pass. Jalen Ramsey intercepted three assists, but the 49ers and Packers found ways to neutralize his influence and take advantage of other matches. Corner-back Darius Williams, who has intercepted four assists in 2020, has no assists this season.
When kicked: Rams kicker Matt Gay was a model of consistency, having made 20 of 21 shots for a field goal. But the rest of the Rams special teams were up and down. Johnny Hecker averages 41.2 yards per pant. Michelle responded to the opening shots against the Packers, but JJ Kosky could resume the role if Michelle starts running back instead of Henderson.
Gary Klein’s prediction: After nearly a month away, the Rams return to SoFi Stadium, where they will defeat the struggling Jaguars and save Sean McVeigh from having to face a four-game losing streak for the first time.
RAMS 27, JAGUARS 16