Los Angeles Rams: Three key matchups vs. Chicago

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) catches a touchdown pass in front of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

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The Los Angeles Rams will be featured in a primetime game for the second consecutive week as they prepare to host the Chicago Bears at bright SoFi Stadium in Week 7. A week ago, the Rams found themselves falling to 4-2 after putting together a vapid performance against their NFC West rivals in the San Francisco 49ers.

Similar to previous seasons, Los Angeles struggled to contain San Francisco’s rushing attack, especially when it mattered most. When the Rams needed a stop on third and seven with two minutes remaining, the defense allowed Deebo Samuel to power through for an 11-yard gain on a jet sweep to seal the game.

Luckily for Los Angeles, they’ll have a chance to bounce back on primetime against a 5-1 Bears team on Monday Night Football. And fortunately for the Rams, we could see A’Shawn Robinson make his debut on Monday night after signing with the team in the offseason.

The upcoming contest between Los Angeles and Chicago is one that could be pitting two playoff teams against one another midway through the season. With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at what matchups could decide the outcome of the game that places the Rams and Bears under a microscope.

Robert Woods vs. Kyle Fuller

Earlier this week, Robert Woods said that he ‘wants to get it done in the air’ for the Rams, nonchalantly letting Sean McVay know he wants the ball more. Woods has continued to be utilized in a variety of ways to display his array of abilities at the wide receiver position.

The USC product has hauled in 27 passes for a modest 329 yards and three touchdowns in the first six weeks. In light of that, Woods wants to see more opportunities in the passing attack moving forward.

Since his comments, Woods’ first matchup will come against Kyle Fuller and a talented Chicago secondary. Fuller has limited opposing WRs to 17 receptions on 35 targets and boasts an impressive 59.2 passer rating when targeted so far this season. Provided that, Woods will have a prime chance to prove he is one of the most underrated pass-catchers in the NFL if Jared Goff can get him the ball.

Jalen Ramsey vs. Allen Robinson

It seems as if every week the Rams are facing either one of the best WRs or TEs in the NFL. You would assume that Jalen Ramsey would be tasked with shadowing the opposing team’s best receiving option in each game, but that hasn’t exactly been the case under new defensive coordinator, Brandon Staley.

Staley has Ramsey manning the ‘star’ position that allows the All-Pro cornerback to showcase his dominance all over the field. Ramsey has been spectacular for the Rams this season, holding teams to a 78.9 passer rating and a pristine 53.2 percent completion percentage when targeted.

Despite his new role in the new-look defense, Ramsey should spend some time covering Chicago’s go-to wideout, Allen Robinson. Robinson has seemingly gotten comfortable with Nick Foles as his QB, catching 32 of his 48 targets for 367 yards and two touchdowns in the past four games for the Bears.

Rob Havenstein vs. Khalil Mack

Rob Havenstein has been matched up with some fierce pass rushers to begin the season and he’s held his own thus far. Following a dismal campaign in 2019, Havenstein has surrendered just one sack on 397 offensive snaps for the Rams in 2020.

After facing guys like DeMarcus Lawrence and Chase Young this season, Havenstein will have his hands full with trying to contain Khalil Mack. Mack is still one of the best edge rushers in the NFL and can single-handedly wreck a game — which could also be said for No. 99 on the Rams.

When Goff is at his best, while he’s made improvements in maneuvering pressure, it’s when he’s able to have a clean pocket and doesn’t have an immense amount of pressure in his face. For Los Angeles to find their rhythm offensively, they’ll need Havenstein to keep Mack from becoming familiar with Goff in the pocket.

Also, don’t overlook the matchup between Robert Quinn and Andrew Whitworth as well. Through the first six weeks, Mack and Quinn have combined for 5.5 sacks and 19 total pressures, per Pro Football Reference.

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