Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
It has been an unprecedented year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its effects are still being felt heading into the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season.
The Los Angeles Rams (5-2) are coming off one of their most impressive wins of the year with a dominant outing against a one-loss Chicago Bears team. However, Week 8 presents an intriguing challenge with the Miami Dolphins (3-3) officially ushering in the Tua Tagovailoa era under center.
The Dolphins opted to utilize their bye week to give Tagovailoa some extra time to prepare for his first NFL career start. Meanwhile, the Rams are left wondering just what to expect from under center.
Since the NFL was forced to cancel the preseason due to the ongoing pandemic, there is not much film for L.A. to game plan against. Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald revealed that the defense is studying his college tape from Alabama and his left-handed tendencies, per Eric D. Williams of Sports Illustrated:
“I’m pretty sure that’s what he would want to do, being able to throw on a run,” Donald said. “We’ve played multiple mobile quarterbacks, the only difference this week is he’s a left-handed guy. So, you just expect them to roll a different type of way to get the ball off.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Donald’s comments since they opened up the season against dual-threat quarterbacks through the first four games. Fortunately, they had largely done a solid job of containing very many plays from being made outside of the pocket.
Of course, it is safe to assume that Miami will do all they can to gear the new scheme on offense around his style of play. As a mobile quarterback, containing the run-pass option will be a crucial part of putting together a second straight week of dominance on defense.
While there is no shortage of highlights from Tagovailoa’s days with the Crimson Tide, it remains to be seen just how much his game has changed since being in the Dolphins’ system. The rookie should have his work cut out trying to put together a memorable debut against a defense led by Donald and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.