Three Keys: Rams at Texans, preseason week 4

The Los Angeles Rams close out the preseason Thursday evening against the Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. pacific time.

Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines three keys for L.A.

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1. How will the defense contain Joe Webb and the Texans’ offense?

A strong candidate to win the Houston’s backup quarterback job, Joe Webb has had a strong preseason so far. 

The former sixth-round pick has been the preseason’s second-leading passer with 534 yards through three games. He has also tallied 12 carries for 84 yards on the ground. 

At the same time, Webb has also been mistaken prone, throwing five interceptions with only two touchdowns. He’s been picked off at least once in each of the Texans’ preseason contests so far, which means there will likely be opportunities for members of the Rams secondary to make more plays. 

As indicated by Webb’s seven yards per carry, Houston has had one of the preseason’s most productive ground games. RBs Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett have helped the Texans average 130.3 rushing yards per contest, fifth-best among the league’s 32 teams.

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Denver Broncos in the third preseason game of 2019. Check out the game photos!

2. Who can establish roles for themselves?

Rams head coach Sean McVay said he would discuss further with the coaching staff about potentially playing key contributors against the Texans. However, if last week’s game against the Broncos served as any indication, there’s a strong chance they will sit out again later this week.

Should that come to fruition, several players should get a chance to show what they’re capable of, especially on defense.

The coaching staff is starting to get clarity on most of the skill positions, according to McVay, but they will still be closely evaluating the linebackers, cornerbacks, defensive line and offensive line for depth purposes. Those will be positions groups to play the closest attention to as a result.

3. How will the battle for QB3 shake out?

Given Blake Bortles has established himself as the Rams’ No. 2 quarterback – the reason McVay cited for resting him against the Broncos – this week should feature reserves Brandon Allen and John Wolford sharing snaps at the position once again. 

Both players showed a comfortable command of the offense last week. Allen completed 12 of 19 passes for 162 yards, while Wolford was 6 of 12 for 64 yards and one touchdown, leading Los Angeles on what would be its game-winning drive. 

Like other positions, Allen and Wolford’s play has presented Los Angeles with a positive problem to have, one that will come down to Thursday’s preseason finale for a solution to be found.

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