Week 16 starts with a game full of playoff implications as the Rams battle the Saints. The Saints are in a three-way tie for first in the NFC South while the Rams battle for a wild card spot. The Rams offense is starting to click while everything the Saints have done seems to be a struggle.
Los Angeles responded well from their OT loss at Baltimore by defeating Washington for their fourth win in five games, evening their record at 7-7 and remaining second in the NFC West division. Los Angeles earned the final wild-card slot in the NFC playoff picture thanks to their superior conference record over New Orleans. Los Angeles led Washington 3-0 after one quarter, 13-0 by halftime and 20-0 in the third. Los Angeles Rams were up 20-7 after three quarters and 28-7 early in the fourth quarter before giving up two scores to bring down the final score closer. Los Angeles owned a 445-297 advantage in total offense, and recorded 23 first downs while only giving up 14. Furthermore, their time of possession advantage prevented them from losing the turnover battle 2-1.
Los Angeles ranks 11th in passing offense with an average of 235.9 yards per game through the air and 11th in rushing offense with 121.3 yards per contest, as well as 9th overall for scoring offense with an average of 23.4 points per contest allowing 22.1 per contest on defense.
Matthew Stafford has been on fire lately, and he has weapons all over the place,. The Rams look like a serious contender.
New Orleans won their second-straight game by pulling away from the Giants late in the second half, to secure an easy home win. The Saints improved to 7-7 on the season and are tied for first in the NFC South alongside Tampa Bay; however, Tampa Bay holds onto their lead based on having a superior divisional record (3-1 to 2-2) entering this week.
They outshone New York by coming from behind early, leading 7-6 at halftime and outscoring them 17-0 in the second half to earn victory. New Orleans held a 296-193 advantage in total offense, picking up 20 first downs while only surrendering 12 and having an edge in time of possession by 33:27-26:33 over New York while not committing any turnovers. On the season, the Saints rank 16th in passing offense with 231.3 yards per contest and 19th in rushing offense at 103.2 yards. New Orleans ranks 12th in scoring offense with 22.1 points per contest and sixth in scoring defense by allowing an average of 19.1 points a game.
Derek Carr has completed 302 of 448 passes for 3,098 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, as he has been sacked 26 times. Alvin Kamara (161 carries, 630 yards and five touchdowns), Tony Jones Jr. (21 carries, 70 yards, two TDs), and Kendre Miller (28 carries, 83 yards) have all contributed on the ground as well. Chris Olave leads his team with 72 receptions for 918 yards and four touchdowns this season. Michael Thomas (39 catches, 448 yards and one touchdown), Rashid Shaheed (36 grabs, 570 yards, three TD), Kamara (68 receptions, 446 yards and one TD), Hill (27 grabs 233 yards TD) and tight end Juwan Johnson (22 receptions, 190 yards three TDs) are reliable targets. Blake Grupe has completed 30 out of 30 extra point attempts and 25 out of 32 field goal attempts, with one long of 55 on the year.
The Rams’ offense will be too much for the Saints. I look for the Saints to struggle just enough on offense to give the Rams the advantage in this game. Rams 27 Saints 17
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