Who will be the LA Rams star against the Jets?
By Bret Stuter
The most obvious potential star on the Rams offensive side of the back is quarterback Jared Goff. While it seems to be out-of-favor to show the young starting quarterback any patience, he simply continues to play at a level above that pictured by his critics.
Yes, he does throw an occasional interception. Yes, he does fumble the ball as well. But analyzing turnovers shows that it’s a 50/50 split on his inaccurate throw versus a receiver not catching a ball in his hands. Of course, in this one, that is all water under the bridge.
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The Jets are vulnerable to a passing offense, and the Rams are seeking to flex their passing muscles in a game. This one is as good as any. The Jets have intercepted nine passes this season, which has them tied with three other teams as the 20th-ranked defense in that category. Meanwhile, the Rams have yet to ‘clobber’ some unsuspecting defense through the air, and head coach Sean McVay would love to do exactly that in this one.
Even though the New York Jets have been somewhat effective at stopping the run, it’s hard to ignore rookie running back Cam Akers’s recent trending upwards on offense. Before the bye week, he carried the ball 35 times for 148 yards and no touchdowns.
Since the bye, he has carried the ball 74 times for 380 yards and two touchdowns. Even with that, it’s impossible not to notice that Akers is coming off his season-high 28 carries for 171 yards against the stingy New England Patriots defense.
Finally, the Rams have tight end Tyler Higbee who has been quiet for far too long on this offense. It was Higbee who was five of five receptions against the Philadelphia Eagles for 54 yards and three touchdowns.
In fact, since the bye week, he has been 14 of 20 for 143 yards and a touchdown. The Jets were rather susceptible to tight ends when facing the Seattle Seahawks, so Higbee or his teammate Gerald Everett can be very effective in this one.
Still, there is a gut-feeling that the Rams will feature wide receiver Van Jefferson in this one. Not only will he be playing against his father’s team, but the Rams could feature the rookie as a tip of the cap to his father and the solid career that he had while playing in the NFL. What a story it would make if Van Jefferson could achieve his first NFL 100-yard game while playing against his father?
In the end, it’s the last story that has the feel of the way the game will play out. Van Jefferson has been applauded and praised all season. Giving him the spotlight to show off for his father is such a Rams’ move, it feels like the right one.