The Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets will renew acquaintances Sunday at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Kickoff is at 10 a.m PT on FOX.
Both teams are facing must win games to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Another loss for either the 3-5 Rams or 3-6 Jets would essentially put them out of contention.
The focus on this game will once again be on the quarterback situation for Los Angeles. After another poor performance in the Rams’ 13-10 loss at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Case Keenum will be under further scrutiny by press and fans alike, clamoring for the promotion of rookie Jared Goff. Head coach Jeff Fisher stated after the Carolina game that Keenum will be under center and has indicated that Goff is still not ready:
“Case is starting,” Fisher said. “Jared is improving. I keep saying that as you guys keep asking the questions, he’s improving. But for right now, Case is starting, and we’re going to New York. But, Case right now, especially against this (Jets’) defense, gives us our best chance. It’s an extremely complicated defense, and they can pressure the quarterback, they can do anything they want to do. They’re very, very talented. Our focus is this week against the Jets, and Case will be under center.”
If the struggling Rams offense is looking to stem the tide and turn things around, Los Angeles will have an opportunity to do it against a struggling Jets secondary. New York is giving up 272 yards per game in the air this season (22nd in the NFL) including over 300 passing yards four times this season. With the Jets only giving up an average of 81 rushing yards per game, it is unlikely that Todd Gurley will produce his first 100-yard game this season. The onus is on offensive coordinator Rob Boras to help find ways to get the ball to Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and Lance Kendricks. Keenum must exploit the Jets poor pass defense.
It is not so clear which quarterback the Rams defense will be facing this Sunday. While it does appear that Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the nod to be the starter on Sunday, his knee injury has made his status unclear. Fitzpatrick struggled in the Jets’ 27-23 loss against the Miami Dolphins, when he threw two interceptions against Miami. Defensive MVP candidate Aaron Donald will once again have to lead the defensive unit against New York and hope the Rams offense can muster enough points against a mediocre Jets defense. Expect points to be at a premium with the game being decided in the last few minutes.
Sources: Stltoday.com, UPI.com, NFL.com, Profootballtalk.com, NFL.com, pro-football-reference.com
Martin Cruz is a staff writer for Rams Talk. You can find him on Twitter with the username @MCruz1988.