The Los Angeles Rams head Indianapolis to take on the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 2, looking to move to 2-0 on the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 a.m. pacific time on FOX.
Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines 3 Keys to Winning for the Rams, powered by The Wallace Firm:
1) Contain the run game (and keep the running backs from making an impact in the passing game, too)
Another 1,000-yard rusher from last season awaits the Rams defense this weekend in Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, whose 1,169 rushing yards as a rookie last year were third-most in the NFL and 11 rushing touchdowns tied with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Washington running back Antonio Gibson for seventh-most in the league.
Both Taylor and running back Nyheim Hines also present challenges as capable receiving threats out of the backfield. While wide receiver Zach Pascal caught both of quarterback Carson Wentz's touchdown passes last week, Taylor and Hines were Indianapolis' top two receivers with six catches a piece; Taylor had a team-high 60 receiving yards followed by Hines with 48.
All told, a big part of limiting the Colts' offense will be mitigating the impact of Taylor and Hines as ball carriers and receivers.
2) Win the battle at the line of scrimmage
As noted in this week's First Look, those who follow trench play – or the play between the offensive and defensive lines – will be excited about this game since given the expected opportunities Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald (six consecutive First Team All-Pro selections) and Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (three-straight First Team All-Pro selections) will have to match up against one another.
From a broader standpoint, the outcome of the overall battle between the Rams' defensive line and Colts' offensive line (ranked No. 2 in the league by Pro Football Focus after Week 1), and vice versa, will have a big role in the outcome of Sunday's game – whichever team wins it also likely wins the game.
3) Create takeaways
Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady told Indianapolis reporters this week he was pleased with Wentz's decision-making and thought Wentz did well against the Seahawks overall. However, Wentz also lost a fumble on a quarterback sneak late on 4th and one from the Seahawks 31-yard line late in the third quarter with the Colts trailing 21-10.
Even though Wentz mostly played a clean game, that moment illustrates the importance of creating timely takeaways on Sunday – had the Colts converted, they would've at least been in position to make it a one possession game with a field goal. The Seahawks punted on the drive following the turnover, but it still kept the Colts from scoring.
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