Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos (-5, 42 o/u)
The best look you’ll get at your favorite team is finally here, as we enter Week 3 of the preseason – just don’t tell Bill Belichick that. Tonight, fans of the Los Angeles Rams (2-0, 0-0 Away) will watch their team take on the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (1-1. 0-1 Home) at Mile High Stadium (9:00 PM Eastern).
The visiting Rams are coming off of a 21-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason, thanks to a nice one-handed catch by Malcolm Brown in the fourth quarter, and was sealed by an Aaron Murray bobbled snap. In spite of the victory, the Rams only put up 264 yards to the Chiefs’ 422 on the day.
While Jared Goff’s stats against the Chiefs (8/12 for 82 yards, 1 TD) may look better than what he put forth in Week 1, the actual performance wasn’t much better at all. The first-overall pick was still indecisive in the pocket, which lead to two sacks, and nearly a couple of interceptions.
Case Keenum will remain the starter for their Week 3 matchup with the Broncos, after going 4/5 for 53 yards, and a touchdown against Kansas City. Keenum and the rest of the projected regular season starters should get at least a half of playing time, as the Broncos defense will provide the Rams with a solid measuring stick to how far their offense is from being ready for the season opener.
The matchup we are all excited to see is 2015’s offensive rookie of the year, Todd Gurley (four carries for 20 yards and a touchdown in Week 2), against the stout Broncos’ front-seven. Although, Fisher is keen on keeping Gurley healthy, and may continue to limit his snap count in the preseason.
One Ram in need of a solid performance is Brian Quick, as he has been very inconsistent thus far, and has allowed some very catch-able balls to hit the turf. Another poor performance could leave Quick on the outside looking in.
The Denver Broncos, are coming off of a 31-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, and are looking for a much better effort from their first-team offense this week.
Although the Broncos took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, on a C.J. Anderson touchdown run, Trevor Siemian (10/14 for 75 yards and an interception) gave it right back when he stared down his receiver, leading to a pick-six.
Fortunately for Siemian, his one error was followed by two Mark Sanchez fumbles, and the former will remain the starter heading into Week 3, despite suffering from some shoulder soreness. However, head coach Gary Kubiak has not revealed who will replace Siemian when the time comes, and Paxton Lynch’s promising second half in Week 2 (15/26 for 113 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception) is to thank for that.
Regardless of who enters after Siemian, the first-teams will be given the opportunity to put their stamp on this game, leading me to side with the much more talented roster at home.
The Broncos will have three quarterbacks that are going to leave everything they’ve got out there, while the Rams have given up 538 yards through the air this preseason. Look for Demaryius Thomas to have a big game, and the Broncos defense to get after whoever the Rams have under center.
Pick: Broncos (-5).
(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])
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