Playoffs – Divisional Game Preview

Hey Los Angeles Rams fans and welcome to this week’s Playoff game preview.

This week’s matchup see’s us at home against a gritty Dallas Cowboys team who have turned around a season that didn’t start so well.  Talk about a season of two halves, this team was 3-5 at the halfway point of the season and nobody was thinking playoffs at that point. The Cowboys had lost some very influential players like Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant and Tight End, Jason Witten in the offseason which looked to impact them on offence. Jerry Jones (the owner of the Cowboys) Felt that what was needed was a true number one at wide receiver and he went out and traded there first round pick next season to bring in Armani Cooper from the Raiders. The Cowboys then went on to win 7 of their last 8 games and also beat the Seahawk’s in the wild-card game last week in a close one…BUT! This is where their winning ends right?      
On to this week’s game…

Players to watch out for this week  

Dak Prescott QB
The former fourth-round pick has been a real find for the Cowboys and looks to be playing at a high level this season after a 2017 season that didn’t quite go the Cowboys way. Dak is a mobile Quarterback and has that ability to extend the plays and be unpredictable if the pocket breaks down. Also, Dak seems to play his best stuff when their running game is clicking and their offence can be balanced. This young Quarterback also has the arm and looks to be established now as their franchise guy.

Ezekiel Elliott HB
This guy is the league’s leading rusher this season and has just had a lights out season. Last week he put up 169 yards on the Seahawks and looked tremendous. Elliott has speed power and agility and is just a rare talent of a running back. Stopping him this week could be key to this game for us.

Amari Copper WR
The former first-round pick for the Raiders arrived at the Cowboys halfway through the season as I said above. Cooper looks to have settled in very quickly and has been instrumental in turning around the Cowboys season. Copper is a big physical and fast receiver with great hands. What more do you want in your number one Wide receiver?

De Marcus Lawrence LE
The second round pick in 2014 has blossomed into the Cowboys best pass rusher and will be a real test for our right tackle Rob Havenstein this week. Lawrence leads the team with 10.5 sacks on the season and will be looking to put the heat on our Goff this week.

Jaylon Smith ILB
Smith is in his third season and is having a great year on the inside of their linebacker core. Smith suffered a very bad knee injury nearing the end of his college career but now three years on is looking like the player many hoped he would be. This year Smith has been strong against the run and in coverage, this guy can also bring the heat with some speed on the blitzes.

Byron Jones CB
Jones has played Safety and Cornerback for the Cowboys in the past, but this year he has played Cornerback only and has excelled on the outside of the secondary. Jones is one of the top corners in the league and we can expect a great tussle between him and our own Brandin Cooks.

My final word on this game

This game I feel will see both teams try to establish their running game early as we will be treated to two of the best in the game with Gurley and Elliott. If either of these guys gets a foothold in the game then it could be a big problem for the other team. Another battle I’m looking forward to seeing is our pass rush against the Cowboys offensive line (which is one of the best in the league). All in all, though I think this one will be a close one and with home-field advantage, I feel we have the edge. I also think our offence is stronger although they do have a good defence, and our wide receivers against their secondary could be another key battle.  Anyway on to my score prediction….. Rams 28-21 Cowboys… That’s my Playoff two cents folks.
Rob