When it comes to the LA Rams, the pattern of who will star in any given game is not one that has many surprises. The Rams may have been innovative when Head Coach Sean McVay first took over the reins of the team, but even thinking outside the box for a season or two finds itself confined in a box over time.
You see, the NFL has a tendency to move that box to absorb new and effective methods of coaching and on-the-field strategies. And if any team, and that includes the Rams, falls into predictable patterns of strategy that can be exploited by opposing teams, then the entire benefit of innovation is suddenly lost.
So how can the Rams break out of the rut of predictability? How can this team take even greater advantage of young hungry players on the roster? Well, for starters, the Rams can afford opportunities to new faces. This is a good team that simply needs to play with some consistency.
Perhaps the rostered veterans who are just as hungry, and who can give the Rams a swift kick in the pants in terms of getting the team on track in Week 6? Who can help the Rams win this week? I can think of three such veterans who would shock everyone if given the opportunity to shine:
Surprise III: Austin Trammell
So far, the LA Rams special teams news has been highlighted by placekicker Brett Maher and by punter Ethans Evans. But I say it's about time for PR/KR Austin Trammell to show up in a big way. Trammell was recently signed to the Rams active roster from the practice squad, and it's time that he shows why.
To date, Trammell has returned one kickoff 20 yards, and four punts for 15 yards. I would love to see Trammell deliver a 35+ yads return on either a kickoff or a punt. The Rams would rally around that type of special teams highlight reel. And Austin Trammell is due to break one.
Surprise II: WR Tutu Atwell
Along the same lines of breaking one, LA Rams speedy wide receiver Tutu Atwell has been held in check so far this season. Despite connecting on 24 of 40 passess for 279 yards and two touchdowns, Atwell's longest reception of the season so far has only been 44 yards. Quite frankly, that ought to be 70+ yards after five games.
Of course, long completions only occur if the offensive line can protect the quarterback, and if a deep pass play is an option. I think that the Rams will lure the Arizona Cardinals safeties close to the line of scrimmage with some effective running plays, and then rock them with a couple of deep completions to WR Tutu Atwell in Week 6
Surprise I: Marquise Copeland
With the injury to defensive lineman Bobby Brown III, the LA Rams will be looking for someone to step up and take a stand. I believe that a very pissed off defensive lineman named Marquise Copeland is just the right guy for that role in Week 6.
Copeland has been a solid contributor for the LA Rams defensive line in recent years. But the influx of young talented defensive line add heated competition, and Copeland has found himself relegated to the Rams practice squad for the first five weeks of the 2023 NFL season. He was elevated off the practice squad for Week 6, and I believe that he will get an opportunity to make plays against the Cardinals. If that happens, don't expect Copeland to wilt.
Marquise Copeland, whether injured or just lax in training camp, will be smoldering and focused in this one. In fact, I would not be surprised to find him getting multiple tackles and pressure on the quarterback if he gets some defensive snaps. The Rams need someone to fill the void for NT Bobby Brown III while he recuperates, and I believe that Marquise Copeland will seize the chance today to toss his hat into the ring.