The Los Angeles Rams might have lost last week, but considering the competition, it almost felt like a win for fans of the franchise. However, the position that the Rams were in last week mirrors where the Washington Commanders are now. If the Commanders can knock the Rams back down to two games below .500, they’ll remember the win well into the offseason.
However, even merely playing close to the Rams might be a boost for Commanders fans ahead of what could be a brutal final stretch of games for the franchise. They play the Rams, potentially Aaron Rodgers-led Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys to wrap up the season. At this point, their next win might be their last. If falls on Los Angeles to make sure the Rams aren’t the last one.
Washington Commanders Offense
The Commanders offense started the year decently enough with a 35-point performance against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, but fast forward to winter and the offense has ground nearly to a halt. The team’s last 20-point game came back on November 12th. Since then, they’ve scored 19, 10, and 15 points. As such, if the Rams can cross the 20-point threshold, it seems they have a nearly assured chance of winning.
The biggest disappointment for the offense this season has been Terry McLaurin. The team’s number one receiver has failed to cross the century mark once this season and has just two touchdowns on the year. On December 3rd against the Miami Dolphins, McLaurin failed to secure a single catch in the contest.
At quarterback, Sam Howell has thrown for 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a determined offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy calling the plays. He’s currently fifth in the league in passing yards, so he’s not one to completely ignore.
Washington Commanders Defense
The defense, meanwhile, has been essentially a turnstile for opposing offenses. In their most recent game against the Dolphins, the team surrendered 45 points. One week before that, they also surrendered 45 points. They gave up 31 to the New York Giants on November 19th and 29 to the Seattle Seahawks on November 12th.
Essentially, ever since the team cut ties with pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat, the defense has evaporated. That said, they are coming off a bye week that allowed them to get rested and organized, so they might offer up a bit more resistance against the Rams, especially in the first half.
How will the Los Angeles Rams win?
As long as the Los Angeles Rams don’t come into the game with the wrong attitude, they should win in spades. The biggest danger for the contest is that they have a Week 16 primetime bout against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday. Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford can’t allow the showdown against the Commanders to be a trap game.
If the Commanders bar is set at 20 points, the Rams’ recent history has destroyed that in recent weeks. On November 26th, they scored 37 points against the Arizona Cardinals. On December 3rd, they scored 36 points against the Cleveland Browns. On December 10th, they scored 31 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Defensively, however, the team will need to drop some rocks in their pockets and reverse potentially the only startling trend taking place during the team’s resurgence. Against the Cardinals, they surrendered 14 points. Then, against the Cleveland Browns, they gave up 19 points. Against the Ravens, they surrendered 31 points.
While the offense has been chugging along at full speed, the defense has taken a step back. This would be a perfect opportunity to reverse the three-week trend.
Will the Rams duplicate the success of the Dolphins and Cowboys in recent weeks or could another upset special be brewing?