The Los Angeles Rams are on a roll this year. Through five weeks they are boasting a fantastic 4-1 record.
However, now they face one of their tougher tasks in the San Francisco 49ers. It is true that their NFC West rivals are very banged up right now, which might help Los Angeles.
That does not mean this will be an easy game, especially for a team like the Rams that has barely been tested this year. Their lone loss came against the Buffalo Bills, a very good team. However their four wins came against the entire NFC East (Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team and New York Giants).
The NFC East is currently led by the Cowboys, possessing with a 2-3 record.
San Francisco is dealing with a lot of injuries and bad play, but at 2-3 they still are tied for the second-best record the Rams have faced so far this year.
So, how will Los Angeles rise to the occasion? Let’s take a look at the matchup and make some bold predictions for the Rams in Week 6.
1. Jared Goff Throws Two Touchdowns
Jared Goff has been very good for the most part this year. He has made some really bad throws but he tends to erase those with a ton of great ones.
So far this season, the Los Angeles quarterback has completed a hefty 71.7 percent of his throws. Sure, the Rams have gone for the short game a lot this year, but that does not negate some great deep balls that Goff has connected on either.
That completion percentage is coupled with a solid 1,372 yards and eight touchdown passes (compared to three interceptions) through five games.
Meanwhile, Goff has even run for two touchdowns this year. Most importantly, he only has one fumble—which has been a serious issue for him in the past.
There is an obvious argument that the quarterback has not really been tested though. He got to run the “gauntlet” of the NFC East which is not exactly a major challenge for quarterbacks.
The Bills are a great team but that defense has not looked nearly as good as expected this year.
So even a banged up San Francisco team could test Goff like no one else has so far. The new challenge might have some believing he will struggle, but he’s still going to find the end zone.
Goff throws for at least two touchdowns as he continues a nice hot streak. The weapons around him are too good and Goff is starting to get into a nice zone.
2. Aaron Donald Leads the Defense
The Los Angeles defense has some elite talent on it, but there are some glaring holes, too.
Due to that fact, this can be sort of a hit-or-miss unit. They can completely dominate an entire game, or fall flat. At the same time, they can struggle all day but still make some big plays that do just enough to help the team.
One of the stars of the defense is Aaron Donald. Regarded by many as the best defensive player in the league, he’s always one of the main reasons they are dominating.
In Week 6, they have a chance to dominate against a beat up San Francisco team with a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo who is struggling at the moment.
Not only will Donald seize that opportunity and add on to his NFL-leading 7.5 sacks, but the entire defense is going to have a good day.
Donald will be the spark plug, and don’t be surprised if he manages another multi-sack game after that ridiculous four-sack performance against Washington in Week 5.
That does not mean others won’t get in on the fun as well though. You can expect a few other sacks sprinkled around the defense as well as a forced turnover or two.
This could be another great game for the Los Angeles defense, and they will pounce on that opportunity.
3. Cam Akers Has Career Day
Running back Cam Akers returned from injury in Week 5 and had the best game of his rookie year. Using just nine carries, Akers had 61 yards (most of them on a 46-yard run) against Washington.
That was probably more than enough for the Rams to feel comfortable giving him more and more work each week.
With Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown both on the roster, it’s not like Akers is about to get 30 carries in a game. However, he could easily get around 15 carries (career-high is 14). With those carries, don’t be surprised if Akers not only gets over 61 yards (which was his career-high) and maybe even score his first career touchdown.
The 49ers might have a few injuries but this is still a very dangerous defense. Due to that, the Rams will want to be smart and switch things up offensively.
That means they will have a steady diet of both pass and run plays, and Akers should be involved heavily. He certainly has a chance to make a big splash in Week 6.
4. Los Angeles Wins Big
As I’ve already mentioned a few times, this is one of the biggest tests of the year so far for the Rams. Los Angeles got the lucky draw of the NFC East to start their season. That yielded them all four of their wins so far. Their only loss was a three-point defeat to a very tough Buffalo team.
While the 49ers are only 2-3 they did make it to the Super Bowl last season, and everyone knows division games are always a little bit tougher.
With that in mind many might think that the Rams might struggle in this game. Honestly, I could see them coming out of the gates a little slow.
However once they hit their stride in this Week 6 matchup, things could get out of hand. Goff has too many weapons with the likes of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. With all those stars, he should be able to always find someone exploiting the defense.
Meanwhile, Donald and their defense could have a big day against a struggling quarterback with some serious injuries on the offense.
The Rams end up getting a big lead and don’t look back. This one is decided by double digits.