The weekend is getting closer and closer, meaning it is time for some Los Angeles Rams Week 11 bold predictions. They will be back on the road Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome.
The Rams are having a rough 2022. After winning the Super Bowl last season, the team is just 3-6 and last in the NFC West. To make matters worse, Los Angeles will be without triple-crown champion and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp for at least a month. The wide receiver suffered a high ankle sprain, which required surgery, against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10.
New Orleans is also struggling this year. Its record is only 3-7, one of the worst in the league, putting the team at the bottom of the NFC South. The Saints have lost four of their last five games, most recently to the rebuilding Pittsburgh Steelers.
With both teams trying to their seasons around, this game sounds like a good place to start. With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Rams as they face the Saints in Week 11.
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3. Los Angeles struggles to find Cooper Kupp's replacement
It is no secret the Rams' offense will miss Cooper Kupp. Following his stellar 2021 campaign, the wideout was having another fantastic year. He is leading the team in targets (98), receptions (75) and receiving yards (812). His six receiving touchdowns are not only the best mark on the Rams squad, but it places him in the top-10 in the league.
Without him, Los Angeles will have big shoes to fill. Besides Kupp, no other Ram has more than 400 yards and 50 catches. The closest one is tight end Tyler Higbee with 44 receptions and 385 yards. Additionally, the rest of the team has combined for three touchdowns, half of what Kupp accomplished by himself.
The Saints' defense has allowed 11 passing touchdowns this season, the ninth-best in the NFL, ahead of teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.
The bold prediction is the Rams will have serious problems with their passing in their first game without Kupp this season. This might be a game quarterback Matthew Stafford throws for less than 200 yards, something he has done three times in 2022, or even a day with one or fewer scores through the air.
2. Rams hold Saints' offense to less than 100 rushing yards
A game-changing playmaker ever since he entered the NFL, Alvin Kamara is having a down year. The five-time Pro Bowler has 112 carries for a total of 469 yards and just one touchdown. Also, he only has one 100-yard performance in 2022, coming Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks.
And New Orleans as a team is not having a great year on the ground, either. The Saints already have four games with 100 or fewer rushing yards, including three out of their last four matchups. Against the Steelers this past week, New Orleans had only 29 yards on the ground despite being in a close game with Kamara on the field.
Because of what the Saints are presenting on the field, plus the strong defensive line led by veteran Aaron Donald, fans should expect another down day for New Orleans on the ground. Expect no more than 100 rushing yards for Kamara and company, which could make things very difficult if the team wants to go back to winning this season.
Should Los Angeles' defense prevail versus New Orleans' running corps, the Rams will be in a good position to come out with a victory.
1. It will be a low-scoring game
It should be a tough day for the Rams' offense. In addition to Kupp's absence, Stafford is returning from the concussion protocol. The veteran missed last week's game versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Combining Kupp's injury, uncertainty surrounding Stafford and the Saints' struggles this season, fans might not see many points on Sunday.
Against the Cardinals, with backup quarterback John Wolford and Kupp healthy for most of the game, Los Angeles scored just 10 points. As a team, the Rams had 256 total yards on offense. This season, the team has failed to reach 250 offensive yards in four contests, including its last three.
If things were complicated with Kupp on the field, imagine how tough it could be for the Rams without him.
The bold prediction is that Sunday's contest will be low scoring. One team will be missing its main offensive option, while the other has failed to impress after 10 weeks. Fans should not expect more than 30 points combined between the two offenses. This could potentially turn into a kicking battle later in the fourth quarter, so maybe Matt Gay and Will Lutz could be the heroes of the game.