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Can't Miss Slants

Know Your Enemy: Los Angeles Rams

KYE moves on with the defending NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVAy enters year 2 as the Rams Head Coach after great success in 2017 (11-5). Jared Goff stepped up with a 100.5 QB rating and Todd Gurley returned to form with 1,305 rushing yards and 13 rushing TDs at 4.7 YPC.

Strengths

QB

Goff is a beast and will only continue to get better. He has a few more years on his rookie deal for the Rams to enjoy before they pay him.

Run Game

Gurley is a monster too despite one down year in 2016. Gurley got a huge 4 year 60 million dollar deal this past week and should be a menace for the Rams. The depth behind Gurley is really lacking though with John Kelly and Malcom Brown so the Rams better hope Gurley stays healthy.

Weapons

Los Angeles used to be a weapon laughing stock but now are loaded with weapons. They traded for Brandin Cooks off a 1,000 yard season for New England. Cooks got a huge deal too for the long term. Robert Woods had a break out year for Los Angeles (781 yards and 5 TDs prior to injury. Cooper Kupp was a strong rookie (869 yards and 5 TDs). Gurley also had 788 receiving yards and 6 TDs. Beast!!  The depth lacks with Pharoh Cooper and Josh Reynolds but both are 4th round picks from 2016 and 2017. Finally,  Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett isn’t much at tight end but has some potential.

Offensive Line

Goff had good protection and Gurley had plenty of holes. Andrew Whitworth was the steal signing of 2017 for the Rams at left tackle. Despite age, Whitworth is one of the best left tackles in the league.  Roger Saffold and John Sullivan revived their careers and are solid at LG and center. Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein have developed nicely at RG and RT from 2015 3rd and 2nd round picks. The Rams offense stayed super healthy in 2017 though so we’ll see what happens if tested with injuries.

Defensive Line

The Rams have a dream team forming. They moved to a 3-4 and lost Robert Quinn (8.5 sack) but added Ndmakong Suh after the Dolphins cut him for cap reasons (LOL Dolphins). Aaron Donald (11.5 sacks) is a monster 3 tech but is holding out because is the only one not getting paid in Los Angeles. Michael Brockers is a good run defender with limited pass rush. Dominique Easley and Ethan Westbrooks are average backup defensive ends.

Secondary

Dream team continues with Aqib Talib, Marcus Petersa and Sam Shields added this offseason. Trumaine Johnson left but the Rams are still stacked. Nickell Robey-Coleman is a nice nickel option with a grat name for the job.

Lamarcus Joyner is a good FS and was franchised. He will be playing hard for a long term deal. John Johnson is a 2017 3rd round pick at strong safety taking over for TJ McDonald (Miami). Los Angeles should have excellent coverage in 2018. Talib and Peters are head cases though and Shields has other head problems so it could go off the wagon quickly.

Weakness

LB

Mark Barron is a good ILB but they switch to 3-4. They must replace Alex Ogletree (Giants trade).  Samson Ebukam (2017 4ht rounder), Matt Longacre, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (rookie 5th rounder) and Trevon Young (rookie 6th rounder) will need to step up. There is a lot of young players that will have lots of snaps for the Rams and may need to provide pass rush.

Schedule

The Rams host the Vikings in Week 4 and the Packers in Week 8. Los Angeles travels to Detroit in Week 13 and to Chicago in Week 14. This should be a really tough game for all four North teams. Rams were 4-4 at home and 7-1 away in 2017 so it might be better to play them in LA. Dream team assembled.