Key Players- Los Angeles Rams

1. Jared Goff– In these two seasons alone, I’ve seen tremendous growth from this young kid. Coaching truly makes the difference. Under Jeff Fisher, Jared never won a game. Sean McVay comes in, he’s playing in a Super Bowl in his third year in the league. Remarkable. He threw 32 touchdown passes during the 2018 season and helped lead the Rams to a 13-3 record, the NFC West division title for the second consecutive season and the two seed in the NFC Playoffs. If he and McVay are a tandem, I see a lot of success between these two for years to come.

2. Todd Gurley– The best running back in the league. He had a big year last year in which I felt he deserved the league MVP. He followed up with another big year accounting for 21 total touchdowns (17 rushing, four receiving). When he touches the football at least 15 times, the Rams have a record of 11-0, playoffs included this season. I loved him at the University of Georgia and he’s off to a good start in the NFL. I’ve referred to him as the engine behind this offensive attack of the Rams. During camp, he signed a contract extension. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Brandin Cooks– He really doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s a true number one receiver and he’s exactly what Goff and the Rams needed. The Rams needed a weapon on the perimeter and that’s when they decided to make the traded with New England to acquire Brandin. He’s a vertical threat, he can stretch the field and take the top off a zone coverage. He had a full year to learn about playing in big games in his one year with the Patriots. Now, he’s set to play in his second Super Bowl.

4. Josh Reynolds– He’s the Cooper Kupp replacement. After the loss of Kupp to a torn ACL, I wondered who’d step up and be that other weapon behind Cooks and Woods. He made some big catches in the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints. I could see this kid getting his targets early in the game on Sunday.

5. Robert Woods– What I enjoy about him is he knows his role within the Rams offense. He’s a solid number two receiver that stays in his lane. He’s quick off the line, he works well in short-yardage situations but won’t hesitate to get down the field to make a big catch.

6. Aaron Donald– You all should know the rule by now. You better have game if you have two first names. He’s the greatest defensive player in our league right now. I haven’t seen a guy create so much havoc on the interior of the defensive line since the days of Warren Sapp and I think things turned out well for him, right? When you prepare to face the Rams, his name is one of the first two that comes up for game planning. If anyone can break Michael Strahan’s record of sacks in a season, it’s Aaron Donald.

7. Ndamukong Suh– There were a lot of people who questioned the Rams signing him. I loved the move. It gave their defensive line two guys that offensive line coaches had to worry about. With Aaron commanding so many double teams, Suh gets a lot of one on one looks and opportunities. He stops the run, he can rush the passer and collapse the quarterback’s pocket.

8. Dante Fowler– Injuries have slowed him down since he was drafted in 2015. When you’re a contending team, you sometimes feel you need to make a move to help elevate your team. When the Rams acquired him from Jacksonville, he gave them another pass rusher in their defensive front. Whether he lines up in a three-point stance or as a linebacker, he knows he can get to your quarterback.

9. Aqib Talib– I think he’s the most vital piece to the Rams defense. He’s the “Draymond Green” of this team meaning he’s the heart and soul. The one thing that people don’t realize is that he’s a true shutdown corner. I’ve seen him shut down the opposition’s number one option and I’ve even watched him shut down Jimmy Graham back in 2013. So, who will he be lined up on this Sunday? Edelman? Hogan? Gronkowski? Time will tell.

10. Marcus Peters– He was the first major piece of the Rams off-season. They acquired him to improve their secondary. To many, he’s been a defensive liability. He’s given up some catches along with big plays down the field. I saw him really step his game up in the NFC title game. When he was last defending Michael Thomas in their regular season showdown, Michael caught 12 passes for 211 yards. In the rematch, the two saw each other again. Mike got his catches and yards, but Marcus didn’t allow a touchdown.