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Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp, Rams

Rams: 3 players facing the most pressure in 2019

The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a 2018 campaign in which they won 13 games and captured the NFC West title before ultimately losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Now, the Rams are hoping to get over the hump and win the whole thing.

Los Angeles made some key defensive additions this offseason and is returning a high-powered offense, so it certainly has a great chance to contend for a championship yet again.

But, with those expectations comes pressure.

Here are the three Rams players facing the most pressure entering 2019:

3. Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp was on his way to having a terrific second season in the NFL before a torn ACL knocked him out halfway through.

He had caught 40 passes for 566 yards and six touchdowns through eight games. Obviously, Kupp is a big part of the Rams’ offense when he is right.

But that’s just the thing: Will Kupp be “right” this season?

A torn ACL is nothing to sneeze at, since it could potentially be a career-altering injury. Luckily for Kupp, the Rams have a couple of other terrific receivers — Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods — to lighten some of Kupp’s load and take some heat off him, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are expecting big things from Kupp in the future.

Kupp could end up being the X-factor in Los Angeles’s offense this year.

2. Todd Gurley

When he is healthy, Todd Gurley is one of the best running backs in the NFL, bar none. But is he healthy?

Gurley suffered a knee injury in Week 15 of last season and missed the final two games of the regular season as a result. He returned in the playoffs and looked fantastic in the divisional round, but he was a virtual no-show in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, causing many to wonder if he was 100 percent.

Those same questions have lingered throughout the offseason, and the concerning thing is that Gurley has never really shut down any of them. Instead, he has been very coy and vague when discussing his knee.

The Rams will probably cut back on Gurley’s touches a bit to preserve him this season, but we aren’t going to know how fit Gurley is until we see him in action in September.

This will be a pivotal year in determining his long-term prognosis.

1. Jared Goff

Jared Goff may have put up terrific numbers over his last two seasons, but there are some who believe he is a system quarterback living off Sean McVay, and he needs to prove otherwise.

The Rams have been pretty mum on extending Goff, and some feel that Los Angeles actually wants to see more from him before committing such a large sum of money to him.

His shoddy performance in the Super Bowl didn’t do him any favors, and the general feeling around the league is that Goff still has difficulty reading defenses and has to rely heavily on McVay before getting to the line of scrimmage.

Goff has a rocket arm and seems to have all of the tools to be a franchise quarterback, but his poor Super Bowl outing coupled with his shaky second half of 2018 has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.

It’s time for Goff to solidify himself as the Rams’ quarterback of the future.