We don’t know exactly how much playing time the starters will get. We don’t even know if the stars will dress for the game. Regardless, here’s five Los Angeles Rams that Raiders fans should keep an eye on during Saturday night’s clash.
- Jared Goff
While his playing time may be limited in the second preseason game (he went 3-of-4 for 34 yards against the Cowboys in the preseason opener) the Rams future is tied to the 22-year-old quarterback.
How Goff handles the Raiders pass rush (especially if Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack play) and how he foils Oakland’s secondary will be interesting.
Fun fact: I got to see Goff sling the ball for Marin Catholic High School during my days as a sportswriter in Humboldt County.
- Todd Gurley
Like Goff, Gurley is going to be a staple of the Rams offense, so his playing time may be truncated (only saw four carries against Dallas).
At 6-foot-1, 227 pounds and a great set of wheels, it will be interesting to see how Gurley navigates his way past the Raiders defensive linemen and linebackers. If he gets past the DL, he most likely will see Raiders rookie middle linebacker Marquel Lee. Should be a good test for both young players.
- Cooper Kupp
A textbook slot wide receiver coming out of Eastern Washington, the rookie had a nice debut against Dallas with two catches for 35 yards. He snaked his way to a wide-open area of the Cowboys’ defense on a crossing pattern route and galloped for 19 yards.
This is a good test for Raiders defensive backs, linebackers and even safeties. Kupp may be a possession receiver but he has just enough wiggle and sizzle to be a pain to cover.
- Alec Ogeltree
The Rams’ best linebacker mans the all-important Mike position. He along with Mark Barron form an imposing inside linebacker tandem. Ogeltree is also adept at dropping off into coverage.
Like Goff and Gurley, Ogeltree is a building block for the Rams as he’s only 25 years old.
It’s going to be interesting how the Raiders run game does not only against a formidable Rams offensive line, but the nose-for-the-ball Ogeltree as well.
- Trumaine Johnson
If you squint when watching the corner cover, you can see Nnamdi Asomugha. The shutdown corner has the height, length, strength and speed to lockdown wide receivers.
Johnson anticipates routes and has a great jump and hands to make quarterbacks rue the day they threw his way.
Even if it only happens once this Saturday, I want to see the ball thrown Amari Cooper’s way with Johnson in coverage.