Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams traveled to Northern California to play their second preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Expect to see a bit of controversy at the start of the game, in part to Marshawn "Beast-Mode" Lynch. Lynch will be more than likely will become the center of attraction with his stance against not standing for the National Anthem. Nonetheless, it will be a game that many eyes of the Ram Fans who are expecting to see a couple of new faces in the line-up against the Raiders defense.
Newly acquired Sammy Watkins will play in his first preseason game as a Ram, as well as Josh McReynolds, whom the Rams selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. McReynolds missed his first preseason action, after recovering from a minor leg injury.
Watkins, the actual number one receiver the Rams desperately had been searching for to replace the days of an Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, has merely found that in the young Watkins. However, wait, let's not halt the talent search with him, as a healthy McReynolds who has emerged this past week in practice, looks to contribute to the eyes of the fans too.
Rams head coach Sean McVay announced that both the offensive and defensive starters would play at least the first quarter. However, that could change based on how things are going, but the fans will get to see young Jared Goff, play some extensive time back in his home area. However, this will not be just a homecoming game for Goff, as teammates, Ethan Westbrook who grew up in nearby Oakland will play, Trumaine Johnson and Justin Davis both from Stockton, CA, and Sean Mannion from Pleasanton.
Young Offensive Mind vs Old Defensive Stopper
SEAN MCVAY'S PLAY CALLINGRSS Feed
Rams rookie head coach McVay will have offense matched up against a Raider's defense that finished 26th last season. However, don't mislead the numbers as the Raider's defense is led by the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Khalil Mack. Mack will apply enough pressure to the Rams offensive line as a solo rusher that the aggressive game plan needs to be quick.
On the hand, all eyes will be on the match-up between Mack and the Rams starting tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein. Indeed, more concerns will be with the right tackle Havenstein, how he's able to absorb Mack's pressure because Whitworth has had success with Mack from past matchups.
It will be attractive on how the Rams offense will attempt to slow down Mack and watch if McVay's aggressive play calling set's up Jared Goff to have a perfect match in the passing game. The run game will much of a concern as well as the Raider's front seven is led by not only Mack, but Bruce Irving, Mario Edwards Jr., and rookie defensive tackle from UCLA Eddie Vanderdoes. The Rams offensive line is going to have to when the battle at the interior front so that running back Todd Gurley can make some positive yardage, to set up play-action in the passing game.
JACK DEL RIO / KEN NORTON JR DEFENSE
The Raiders will try and scheme their defense of the fly against the Rams. The Rams offense relatively is new, and Ken Norton Jr. will have his hand full. It will be amazing if the defense can somehow over match the Rams offense, especially in front of their home crowd.
The Raiders defensive front seven may be a bit of handful for the Rams offensive line, but the Rams offensive lines coach Aaron Kromer certainly will have them prepared. The Rams offensive line already has done an immediate 180 turn from where it was last season. The offensive line was one of the worst previous season allowing more quarterback hurries, hits, and sacks.
The offensive line play last weekend played some of it better football, despite the fact it was mostly reserve players in the game. The Rams quarterbacks were only sacked twice last week against the Cowboys, but good enough to get the victory.
Biggest concern tonight will be how the Rams can slow down the pressure from linebacker Mack. Mack didn't become the Defensive Player of the Year for nothing. His intensity level is meaner than the copperhead rattlesnake and will try any offense when afforded the opportunities. Bringing pressure from the opposite of Mack will be Bruce Irving, who will be licking his chops for some leftovers.
If the Rams can control the ball on the field this week like they did last weekend, look for them to squeeze out another close against the Raiders. So we will sit back and wait for what the outcome of the game will be. Horns Up!