The Los Angeles Rams visit the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by: Mike Cahill
Match Up: Los Angeles Rams offense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars defense
- WR Sammy Watkins vs. A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey – Watkins will bring the league’s fourth highest passer rating when targeted into Sunday’s matchup against two of the league’s top cornerbacks in A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Both are in the top-10 in coverage grade with Ramsey second at 91.3 and Bouye ninth at 86.3, respectively. In his matchup against Bouye in 2016, Watkins was targeted twice and caught both of those passes for 74 yards, with one of them coming on a 62-yard gain, and a passer rating of 109.7. So far in 2017 Watkins’ best routes are slants, which also happen to be the route Ramsey have given up the highest passer rating on. Bouye’s worst routes defended are hitches, also one of Watkins’ best and the only two routes he has scored on in 2017.
- HB Todd Gurley vs. Jaguars Run Defense – With the Jaguars’ coverage being one of the best in the league, the Rams may need to lean on workhorse running back Todd Gurley. Gurley’s highest yards per carry are coming to either the left or right of the center, where he’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry as compared to his 4.1 overall. To add to his interior success, he has four of his nine missed tackles running in that direction. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are allowing 6.3 yards per carry in those directions as compared to their 5.4 allowed overall and 118 of their yards after contact allowed out of 341 overall gained by opposing running backs.
- TE Tyler Higbee vs. Jaguars Linebackers – Over the last two weeks, tight end Tyler Higbee has been targeted 14 times, fourth most among the league’s tight ends. In that span, Higbee is averaging 3.37 yards gained per route run on 43 snaps in route, which is also fourth in the league. Two of the linebackers he’ll face, Telvin Smith and Myles Jack, have been targeted 50 times this season and have allowed 44 of those to be caught for 372 yards, two touchdowns, nine missed tackles and two interceptions.
Coverage by: Aaron Resnick
Matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars offense vs. Los Angeles Rams defense
- HB Leonard Fournette vs. DI Aaron Donald – Through five games, Fournette has been everything the Jaguars were expecting. His overall grade of 80.2 currently ranks 13th among all backs, he has shown ability as a receiver and, as evident by his 20 forced missed tackles, is running with power. While the majority of Fournette’s carries have gone to the left side of the line, he faces a very tough task going against Donald. With a grade of 94.4 that’s tops among all interior defenders, Donald is on pace for another fantastic season. His grade of 86.6 in run defense also ranks seventh at the position as he has yet to miss a tackle when playing the run.
- T Cam Robinson vs. Edge Robert Quinn – Robinson has had a shaky rookie year with an overall grade of 40.7 that ranks 59th out of 69 eligible tackles. He has fared better in pass protection, where his grade of 48.4 ranks 46th and his pass-blocking efficiency of 93.8 checks in 39th. Despite Quinn’s overall grade of 48.8, he is coming in fresh off his best performance of the season. This past Sunday he recorded five total quarterback hurries, but for the year Quinn’s pass-rush productivity of 7.4 ranks 35th among outside linebackers. While the Jaguars are hoping to keep the ball on the ground, Quinn has the talent to heat up and his matchup against Robinson could be a determining factor in the event the Jaguar offense is forced to throw.
- WR Allen Hurns vs. CB Trumaine Johnson – Hurns has seen just 25 targets thrown his way, but his 106.6 passer rating when targeted ranks 20th among wide receivers. After a rough 2016, Hurns has rebounded with a grade of 79.7 that currently ranks 17th among receivers. Having run the majority of his routes on the right side, Hurns figures to see a lot of Johnson, who after two consecutive years with a grade over 80, has a grade of 49.4 through five weeks. While Johnson has allowed a passer rating of 75.6 when targeted in coverage, it’s on a per snap basis where he has struggled. Johnson’s 1.68 yards allowed per coverage snap currently ranks 92nd among corners.