Saints Vs. Rams Week 16 Preview: Thursday Night Football With Huge Playoff Implications

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The Los Angeles Rams weren’t expected to be in the position they’re in now, but thanks to Les Snead and Sean McVay, the team is firmly in the playoff race.

After beating the Washington Commanders and the Green Bay Packers losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, the Rams moved into the final Wild Card spot. At 7-7, Los Angeles has a chance to defy their preseason expectations and make the postseason if they manage to win out.

However, like the Rams, the New Orleans Saints are in the playoff hunt and are still in a position where they can win the NFC South. The Saints beat the New York Giants this past Sunday and are also sitting at 7-7.

Los Angeles and New Orleans are two of the more intriguing teams at this point of the season and a win for either squad would greatly improve their playoff odds.

The Rams currently have a 48% chance to make the playoffs, according to the New York Times. With a win, that number would jump to 69% while with a loss it would fall to just 9%.

Rams Offense vs. Saints Defense

McVay noted earlier in the week that players like Tutu Atwell and Rob Havenstein are expected to suit up after dealing with a concussion and groin injury, respectively. Both are key parts of the offense and a major boost for Matthew Stafford who’s playing about as well as any quarterback in the league right now.

New Orleans boasts an above-average defense, particularly in the passing game. However, they’re susceptible to running backs which means Kyren Williams should be able to continue his torrid streak carrying the football.

Rams Defense vs. Saints Offense

Ahkello Witherspoon is expected to play after dealing with a groin injury, which is good news as the Saints will have Chris Olave back in action who’s been managing an ankle injury. The defensive line should have their opportunities to get after Derek Carr, who hasn’t been quite the player New Orleans was hoping for in the offseason.

Aside from Olave, the other major threat is Alvin Kamara, who’s having a stellar season rushing and catching passes out of the backfield. Carr always has eyes for Kamara when he feels pressure, and he’s been the perfect release valve in the short areas of the field.

Keys to Victory

1. Feed Kyren Williams

Williams has been on absolute tear since returning from a high-ankle sprain, and he should be busy against a Saints defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league when it comes to rushing yards.

2. Limit the Alvin Kamara dump offs

New Orleans has been able to keep drives alive largely in part to Kamara grabbing dump offs and creating yards after the catch. It’s easier said than done, but limiting his receptions would go a long way.

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