Bobby Trees Gets His Paper
The Rams were able to get an extension done with Robert Woods on Friday. Woods has agreed to a four-year, $65 million extension, including $32 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN. The contract can reportedly top out at $68 million. Despite what most of the pundits will say about the “Salary Cap”, this was not a spur of the moment move. After Cooper Kupp’s contract was signed, Woods got the attention that he deserves.
The Rams have been trading away first round picks and investing heavily into their scouting department for years because they knew that when the time came, they would have guys to pay. This only becomes an issue if the Rams begin to regress in the scouting department and are thus unable to groom young mid-round draft picks into stars. That hasn’t happened yet, and I wouldn’t expect it to start anytime soon. See Jordan Fuller.
Philadelphia is getting back to almost full health, especially along their lines. Right tackle Lane Johnson is Philly’s best lineman and even though he is playing through injury this week, still gives a big boost to that offense as a whole.
Another reason for the Eagles’ difficulties with The Washington Football Team last week was they were not able to get much of a run game going. With Miles Sanders back, Philadelphia seems destined to have a much better offensive performance. The more men that the defense has to use to commit to the run, the easier it is to pass.
The Rams have only one injury to report, and that is tight end Gerald Everett (back). Coach McVay has already said he expects Everett to suit up on Sunday.
Where do the Rams attack the Eagles defense?
The first, and most obvious choice, is to pick on their corners. This especially true for Avonte Maddox, who has perennially been one of the worst graded corners in the league since he came out of college in 2018. The great pass rush of the Eagles means that the Rams should be prepared to get the ball out quickly. Considering that was the exact same game-plan against the Cowboys, I don’t see how the Rams don’t put up at least 27 points.
That is, however, assuming they keep Goff clean. I know, that is a big assumption after last years awful offensive line showing. That was last year, though, and this is now. Four of the five offensive lineman graded out as top-13 lineman for week one, according to pro football focus. It’s not like they were going up against scrubs either, as Dallas’ pass rushing corps is one of the most feared in the NFL.
Nickell Robey-Coleman has been saying that he won’y hold anything back, with regards to how much he will tell the Eagles about his former team. If the Eagles are able to use any of that to their advantage, then Sean McVay needs to take a look in the mirror. He will need to ask himself why he didn’t change up his team’s verbiage, hand motions, and formation looks well before the season started.
How does the Rams defense prepare for the Eagles offense?
Brandon Staley is mainly a 3-4 defense kind of guy, but the Rams’ versatility allow him to be very “Multiple” with the formations that they can throw at an offense. This is what he loves to do, and is getting a chance to prove he is one of the best right now.
Philadelphia targets their two tight ends more than any team in the league. The second best tight end on any team will not be competing with Dallas Goeddert in the stat categories this year. Heck, in week one he even out-produced starter Zach Ertz.
The Rams have to engrain it into their players minds that just because the tight ends starts out blocking, doesn’t mean that is how he will finish the play. These are receiving tight ends, above all else, and they are very good at it. They run a lot of plays out of 12-personnel, here is an example of one of their basic formations.
One way that teams are able to stop a double tight end formation is with the “Big Nickel 4-3 Under”. This formation brings a third safety into the game (Taylor Rapp) and plays him near the line of scrimmage. This is what Gregg Williams did with Jamal Adams last year, except Williams called way too many blitzes–as Rams fans know all too well already. The formation also calls for one of your outside linebackers to stay with his hand in the ground over the tackle, rendering him as a speedy 5-technique.
Rapp was only on the field for less than a fifth of the Rams snaps last week, possibly hinting at a “Wild Card” type role for Rapp. During games where the opponent is really good with a 3-wide set or can run the ball effectively, Rapp will play less in favor of Kenny Young and the young secondary guys.
During games like this upcoming one against Philadelphia where their opponents target their tight ends a lot, this is his time to shine. Just like with teams who are able to run on the Rams at will, or has big physical receivers; Rapp will get much more playing time in these type weeks. Look for him to make a big impact tomorrow.
Prediction: Rams over Eagles 30-17
That’s it for this week’s roundup, check back next Tuesday for more!
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