Thursday, December 2, 2021

Rams vs. Titans: Los Angeles faces tougher adversary

Looking at how the Rams (7-1) and Tennessee Titans (6-2) come into play on Sunday at 5:20 am PT at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The game will be played on NBC (Channel 4).

When Rams has the ball: Quarterback Matthew Stafford missed two days of training due to back constraints and was restricted on Friday but will play on Sunday. Stafford hit 22 touchdowns with four interceptions. Receiver Cooper Kupp was named NFC Attacker of the Month for the second time after collecting 63 catches over 924 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Rams dropped DeShawn Jackson’s successor, and rookie Tutu Atwell suffered a shoulder injury at the end of the season. So Kuppa, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson will be backed by rookies Ben Skouronek, Jacob Harris and JJ Koski. Woods is treating a foot injury that caused him to miss two days of training, but is expected to play. Backward Darrell Henderson poses a double threat after running for a touchdown last Sunday and catching another touchdown pass in a 38-22 win over the Houston Texans. Left tackle veteran Andrew Whitworth could return from a break in the game against the Texans with a knee injury. Harold Landry III has 8.5 sacks to finish second in the NFL, while fellow midfielder David Long has 60 best team tackles. Lifeguard Kevin Byard intercepted four assists.

When the Titans have the ball: The Titans were hit hard when star running back Derrick Henry sustained a leg injury at the end of the season in a 34-31 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts last week. The Titans have signed up to 36-year-old Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, but that won’t make up for the loss of a player who leads the NFL in yards and touchdowns. Defender Ryan Tannehill has hit 10 touchdowns on seven interceptions. A.J. Brown was Tannehill’s main target, catching 35 assists, but is listed as questionable due to a knee problem. Julio Jones has 17 traps. Former Rams successor Josh Reynolds has only 10 traps. This week the Rams traded for outside midfielder Von Miller, adding him to the front, which also includes three-time NFL Defender of the Year Aaron Donald and winger Leonard Floyd, who has 6.5 sacks of top teams. Coach Sean McVeigh said Miller was treating his ankle injury and that the decision will likely be made during the game. Greg Gaines will start in place of Sebastian Joseph-Day, who is undergoing pectoral surgery and will be suspended indefinitely. Cornerback Darius Williams, who has been eliminated for three games with an ankle injury, may return to the squad.

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When kicked: The Rams’ special teams are undergoing a change due to injury. While Atwell is off, Kosky and Buddy Howell are among those who can respond to kicks and kicks. In each of the last two games, the Rams have failed to play at least one hit in the game. Matt Gay made 14 of 15 shots for the field. Titans striker Randy Bullock has made 15 of 17 shots for the field.

Gary Klein’s prediction: Having played three weak opponents, it would be a great test for Rams. But Henry’s injury would be overwhelming for the Titans. The Rams should win easily.


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