NFL Game of the Week: New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams

Story posted September 11, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Ethan Cook

This week’s NFL game of the week will feature the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams and will be broadcast on Fox on Sunday, Sept. 15th, 2019, at 4:25 p.m in Los Angeles. This will be the first time that the Rams and Saints have met since the infamous “no-call” game from the 2019 NFC championship.

There are many keys to this week’s matchup. One of those keys for the Saints will be building on the miracle win in Week 1. The Saints are coming off of a last-second field victory over the Houston Texans that took place last Monday night. New Orleans won the game 30-28 thanks to a 58-yard field goal from Wil Lutz with two seconds remaining. The field goal was set up by a six-play, 35-yard drive that took just 37 seconds, thanks to Drew Brees and company. If the offense can play at a quick tempo like this again, it may be difficult for Los Angeles to hold.

Another key to this game for the Saints will be playing smart in order to exact revenge. The Saints and the Rams last met in the 2019 NFC championship game, in which the officials allegedly missed a pass interference call that could have cost the Saints the opportunity to go to Super Bowl 53. With new pass interference rules in place for the 2019 season, New Orleans will need to play cleanly in order to avoid any further controversy.

One key for the Rams in this game will be building off the strengths of their Week 1 victory over the Carolina Panthers. The Rams had a close victory as well, winning 30-27 thanks to solid rushing and defensive performances. If Todd Gurley really gets going and the fearsome Rams defense brings the heat, then Los Angeles will have strength on both fronts.

Another key for the Rams will be special teams. Greg Zuerlein was 3-4 on field goals in Week 1 with his longest boot being a 56-yard field goal. Special teams also helped Los Angeles prevail by recovering a Carolina onside kick in the final two minutes of the game.

All in all, it seems like the kicking game will be important for both teams this week, as they were last week. Both defenses will be tough to overcome, and it’s likely that both will force a lot of field goal attempts in this matchup.

All eyes will be on the officiating crew as well. With the new pass interference rule implemented in the offseason, it will be interesting to see whether or not that will play a factor in this game.

All things considered, the biggest factor that will determine the result of this game is the revenge factor for the Saints; they’ll just want to win it more. Although it will be a back-and-forth, high scoring game, New Orleans will come out on top in a simple twist of fate, as Wil Lutz boots the game-winning field goal through the uprights with no time remaining.

The Rams and the Saints are both expected to be two of the top squads in the NFC this year, so this may not be the last time we see them play each other again. Look out for these two to face off yet again when the playoffs roll around.

Prediction: New Orleans 34, Los Angeles 31

 

Ethan Cook is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ejc5565@psu.edu.