Two teams that figured to factor into the NFC playoff race will face each other in Week 11 as they try to get their season’s turned back in the right direction. The Los Angeles Rams will make the trip to the Louisiana Superdome to square off with the New Orleans Saints. Los Angeles fell to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 in a battle of backup quarterbacks, by a final score of 27-17. New Orleans could not come up with a win in Week 10 either, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10.
We’ll keep an eye on three things during this contest.
Can Alvin Kamara Get Going?
It has been a pedestrian 2022 NFL season for one of the league’s best running backs. Alvin Kamara’s agility and ability to break a game open have seldom been on display so far, and it’s a little confusing as to why. Granted, the quarterback play for New Orleans this year has been less than stellar, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense why one of the NFL’s premier weapons has been a non-factor week in and week out.
What’s even more bizarre is that the Saints seem to have abandoned the run when they’ve had a barrage of injuries to their wide receivers. Kamara has only run the ball 17 total times in the last two weeks. New Orleans will need to revert back to their game plan against the Las Vegas Raiders, when Kamara touched the ball 27 times en route to a 24-0 Saints victory.
How Will The Rams Move The Ball?
Los Angeles suffered a sizeable blow last week as All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp went down with a high ankle sprain that figures to sideline him for at least a month. The Rams would rely on Kupp’s ability to get open when nothing else in the offense could be relied upon, even as defenses knew exactly what was coming. It figures to be tough sledding for Los Angeles on offense unless someone steps up in a big way.
It’s possible that quarterback Matthew Stafford, who figures to return this week from a concussion, will give Ben Skowronek and Van Jefferson the chance to fill Kupp’s massive void. Allen Robinson and Tyler Higbee will also factor in, although Stafford and Robinson in particular seem to have had a tough time getting on the same page this year.
Sticking With Dalton
After last week’s uninspiring performance against Pittsburgh, the chatter for Saints head coach Dennis Allen to make a change at quarterback got louder. Andy Dalton was brought into New Orleans to serve as a solid experienced reserve, but he’s played in more games than most would have expected. Allen has talked about the health of starter Jameis Winston as a factor in his decision-making process.
At this point, it feels like Winston may be or may have been dealing with something more serious than was initially let on, as the team appears reluctant to put him back in. Allen confirmed that Dalton will remain the starter against Los Angeles.