The Los Angeles Rams’ season has come to an end. Their search for a playoff berth was thrashed last week in the 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but week 17 can still hold some emotional significance. Sean McVay can clinch his third-straight winning season as an NFL head coach, Tyler Higbee can end his best year on his fourth straight 100+ yard game, and Todd Gurley can break the Rams’ running back touchdown record. This game could give the fans some impressive performances if the Rams play like the season is alive.
Tyler Higbee, Tight End
Tyler Higbee has turned into the receiving threat that the Rams thought they were drafting in 2016. Higbee has become Jared Goff’s favorite target in recent weeks, garnering 35 receptions in the past month. That number is more than the other 12 weeks of the season combined. In his past four games, he’s had to receive outputs of 107, 116, 11, and 104 yards. Against Arizona, the league’s worst team at defending opposing tight ends, he will look to further his run. It won’t be too hard to envision him doing so.
Darious Williams, Cornerback
Darious Williams could very well be playing for his future with the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. With Pro-Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey already ruled out with a hamstring injury and Troy Hill questionable after thumb surgery, Williams could be the guy versus the Cardinals. Williams has played well recently, recording a number of notable plays and an interception last game versus the 49ers, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he played his game on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Dante Fowler Jr., Outside Linebacker
Dante Fowler Jr. has been playing great through his contract year with the Rams, and that could spell trouble contact-wise for the team in the offseason. Whether or not this is Fowler’s last game as a Los Angeles Ram, he is sure to have an impressive showing against a lackluster Cardinals offensive line before heading into contract negotiations. My prediction: Fowler has two sacks on his way out of LA and gets close on a few more.
Andrew Whitworth and Bobby Evans, Offensive Tackles
One offensive linemen’s career is coming to an end and one has just begun. Andrew Whitworth and Bobby Evans are on opposite ends of their careers, and this game should mean a ton to both of them.
For Whitworth, this could be his last game in the NFL, even with him denying any talk of his potential retirement. This season has been far from his best year as a pro and has been a dropoff from his play as a Rams thus far, so for the team Whitworth’s potential last game could be a changing of the guard game. I expect Whitworth to play adequately against DPOY candidate Chandler Jones in a game where proving his doubters wrong could be more important than the outcome of the game itself.
For Evans, this game could mean his position becoming solidified as a right tackle. Former starter Rb Havenstein has become somewhat of an enigma on the Rams roster and it feels more and more likely that Evans keeps his job for good. In this game against Arizona Evans will be tasked — alongside Andrew Whitworth — with handling the pressure that Chandler Jones emits. A challenge that Evans did a great job of doing in the teams’ previous matchup with the Cardinals.
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