Week 12 NO vs. LAR Game Day Thoughts

The Rams’ front seven defense will be tested mightily against the Saints’ power run game

In a short span of time, the Saints have transformed from a pass-heavy offense to a power running team reliant on running backs’ Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. They are now poised to become legitimate Super Bowl contenders in similar fashion to the Rams. Both teams have reinvented themselves this season which should make for a very intriguing matchup.

Run Defense

As mentioned earlier, Saints running backs Ingram and Kamara have been extremely productive this season. If Kamara gets 94 more offensive yards on Sunday, both running backs will have 1,000 all-purpose yards through 11 games which is insane. The Saints are ranked third in rushing at 144 rushing yards per game which presents a major challenge for the Rams’ front seven defense. Last week, the Rams allowed 171 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 31 attempts to the Minnesota Vikings; running back Latavius Murray was looking like an All-Pro.

To make matter worse, the Saints’ offense completely wrecked the Rams last season 21–49 in Week 12. It’s essentially the same defense as last year for the Rams roster but this time around, they’ll be playing under a 3–4 scheme with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips. Currently the Rams are allowing the fifth-most rushing yards…

Passing Game

The Rams lost their leading receiver, Robert Woods, to a shoulder injury last week which means Sammy Watkins will be the primary guy. While Watkins was expected to take on that role going into this season, he only has six catches the last three games. Conversely, Rams’ slot receiver Cooper Kupp needs to have a bounce back game after last week’s fumble debacle. Let’s also not forget that running back Todd Gurley could also see more looks his way in the passing game. Gurley is currently leading the league with nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards (791 rushing 425 receiving).

While the Saints’ defense has been stout this year, there should be opportunity for the Rams’ passing game. The Saints starting cornerbacks, rookie Marshon Lattimore and second-year Ken Crawley, are out.

Overall Thoughts

Similar to last week against the Vikings, the Rams are once again playing a well-balanced football team. They’ll be at home this time around while the Saints will be flying across the country. It’s interesting to compare both teams this season, especially how they transformed their identities. I think it’s going to be an even matchup where I see the Rams edging them out in what could be the best game of the week.

LAR-1 O/U 53

Prediction: Saints 24 Rams 27

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