Heading into this week’s critical matchup at Minnesota, these are Cover32’s picks for the Rams that will need to have big games to take down the Vikings.
Andrew Kelly – Jared Goff
Yes, the Rams are 5-0 on the road, and yes, second year QB Jared Goff has been steady and impressive all season long. Now headed into the first game of the gauntlet, the Rams second-year signal caller will face a different kind of pressure against Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes and Co. Will he be able to put a game-winning drive together in the clutch? We’ll learn a lot about #16 on Sunday.
Andrew Ortenberg – LaMarcus Joyner
Along with strong safety John Johnson III, Rams free safety LaMarcus Joyner will need to be on his game this Sunday. Minnesota wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen excel at catching the deep ball, and given some recent shaky play from Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster, they may get their chances. Let’s hope our long-armed ball hawk from Florida State is up for the challenge.
Brian Joanou -Todd Gurley
Will Gurley’s remarkable renaissance continue against the league’s third-rated rush defense? Brian sure thinks so, naming TGIII his Standout Star and the subject of his bold prediction this week with 150 rushing yards and a TD. It won’t be easy against the stout Vikings interior, but look for the Rams to stay committed to the run and for Gurley to pile up second half yardage.
Isaiah Trevino – Cooper Kupp
It’s likely that the Goff to Kupp connection will remain strong on Sunday, as we’ll be looking to check it down against the strong Vikings pass rush and talented secondary. Kupp will be looking to do his best Robert Woods impression and build on his solid six catch 47 yard week 10 showing against the Texans. Isaiah’s got him pulling down 8 balls and a Tuddy this week.
Scott Wagner – Trumaine Johnson
If you would have told me in the offseason that the Rams would be 7-2 record and facing a playoff contender helmed by Case Keenum, I would have laughed and said “Well, we’re already in an alternate reality. Rams win easily, to move to –cough cough- 8-2.” Whether it’s Diggs or Thielen or a combination of the two, Rams franchise cornerback Trumaine Johnson will need to earn his money this Sunday and keep Keenum from the success he’s enjoyed the last few weeks. If the Rams can get pressure with four, I’m looking for a pick-six from 22.
Christian Gotzman – Robert Woods
Coming off a career performance, picking Robert Woods to repeat here is a pretty sturdy limb. Along with Cooper Kupp, Goff and Woods have been in sync all season long. Minnesota’s D presents some challenges, and 94-yard touchdowns don’t grow on trees, but the polished pro from USC will see plenty of looks, and with his great hands and clean route-running, he’ll get his. Whether or not he’ll have a third consecutive two touchdown game remains to be seen, but if he does, we might be talking about a sneaky elite wide receiver here.
Mike Cahill – Sammy Watkins
Each week, the chemistry improves between McVay, Goff, and Sammy. It certainly looked easy last week, when Goff hit Watkins on two consecutive plays to chew up 40 yards en route to the end zone. Maybe this is the week we feed Sammy the ball a little bit more and take the Ferrari out of the garage. Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith will have something to say about that, but you can’t double-team every Ram. Mike thinks Sammy will shine on Sunday.