Writer: Elliot Kennel
Game Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
This is a game between two teams headed to the playoffs. The Rams are formidable opponents and will not go down easily like the New York Jets did behind a third-string quarterback. Instead, the Rams come loaded with Jared Goff slinging it and Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett catching it; and Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown running it.
On defense, the Rams feature Aaron Donald, who is possibly the quickest big man this reviewer has seen this side of Vince Woolfork. Leading tacklers include linebacker Cory Littleton, and safeties John Johnson III, Taylor Rapp, and Eric Weddle. Can the Browns lackadaisical offensive line get it together in time for Sunday’s game?
The Browns defense, on the other hand, was not able to stop Luke Falk, the third-string quarterback for the Jets, who went 20 for 25 and 198 yards passing in two and a half quarters. They did slow down Le’Veon Bell, holding him to 129 yards from scrimmage, which is below the lethal limit. But the same level of effort against Goff and the Rams may not be enough.
The Browns have not gotten their passing game in sync, with the offensive line looking like they are hoping to get Mayfield killed. Can this group stop Sam Donald & Co?
This game should be competitive, but at this early point of the season, the Rams are more advanced on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: Los Angeles Rams 23, Cleveland Browns 20.