Off to different starts to the season through four weeks, the Los Angeles Rams travel to FedEx Field to battle the Washington Football Team this Sunday. Trying to jump-start their offense after a slow start, Washington will turn to third-year quarterback Kyle Allen after benching Dwayne Haskins. Headed to the east coast for the third time this season, Sean McVay’s team will look to keep pace in the loaded NFC West after a 3-1 start. This is a game with significant implications as both teams are in the thick of their respective divisional races. Here’s what to expect.
After failing to score over 20 points in three straight losses, Washington head coach Ron Rivera decided to bench Haskins this week, turning the keys over to Allen for Sunday. Last season, Allen led the 5-11 Carolina Panthers, throwing for 3,300 yards and 17 touchdowns. While they remain in the race for the NFC East crown, despite three straight losses, Washington will be in a tough matchup. Specifically, the Rams defense is 6th in the league in points against early on. The Rams are strong both in the secondary and along the defensive line. So expect offensive coordinator Scott Turner to try and work the middle of the field both through the air and on the ground against a subpar Rams linebacker core. Also, expected to be fully healthy at running back, Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber should receive a heavy workload in this one.
On the flip side, the offense has come easy to Jared Goff and company this season as they rank top-10 in almost every major category. Led by wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, the team’s passing game will be in for all they can handle in Week 5 as they square off with a Washington pass defense ranked 3rd overall early on. However, a common theme for both units has been shaky play against the run through a quarter of the season as Jack Del Rio‘s group enters the game averaging over 129 yards against on the ground. With rookie running back, Cam Akers expected to return after a nagging rib injury, Los Angeles’s three-headed trio of Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown will all be available to attack in Week 5.
Expected to be a battle of defense, both team’s key to success will be along the offensive line. Both units are loaded with pass rushers. Hence why both are among the top-five in the league in sacks through a quarter of the season. While struggling in pass protection early on, Washington quarterbacks have been sacked an average of 3.2 times per game. This compared to 1.5 times per game for Goff. A decided disadvantage for both offensive lines, pass protection will be a big factor in the game’s outcome.
Date: October 10, 2020
Start Time: 4:25 P.M. EST
Location: Landover, MD
Stadium: FedEx Field
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: LAR -7 (-110) | WAS +7 (-110)
Moneyline: LAR -370 | WAS +295
Over/Under: O 45.5 (-110) | U 45.5 (-110)
This is the second time these teams will meet since the Rams relocated from St. Louis. Washington enters the matchup 1-2-1 against the spread this season. In contrast, the Rams are 2-2 ATS this season, with the over hitting in their last four road contests. Expected to be a battle of top defenses on Sunday, look for points to be hard to come by. Nevertheless, Allen will be starting his first game under center against a McVay led team. Therefore, swallow the seven points and take Los Angeles to cover.
Desperate for a win, the switch to Allen at quarterback could provide a boost to Washington and trouble for the Rams early on. Therefore, if they are able to run effectively and not turn the ball over, Washington could spell trouble for Los Angeles in the first half. However, Goff and company should be all business in this must-win matchup to keep pace in the loaded NFC.
Final Score: Los Angeles 28, Washington 17
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