On Monday Night Football, the Rams will travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum. This Monday Night Football matchup will kick off tomorrow at 10:20 PM. ET.
The start of the season ushers in a new era for the Raiders by turning back the clock to a past era with the return of head coach John Gruden. While Gruden’s homecoming to Oakland is certainly a direction many fans are happy to be headed, the changes in Oakland extends far beyond the head coach. With a trade that sent their all-pro defensive end, Khalil Mack, to the Bears, the Raiders are already turning heads. While excitement is high, the Mack trade brings serious doubts that the Raiders are in a win now mode.
Across the field is perhaps a younger version of Gruden in head coach Sean McVay. Last season, McVay changed the culture in Los Angeles leading a Rams franchise to a record of 11-5. The Rams will look to improve upon that total with a plethora of acquisitions. The biggest additions to the Rams are mainly on defense with names like Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib. The addition of Suh and Talib to an already stacked defense is a signal that Los Angles is all in for a deep playoff run in 2018.
The Rams Offense
The Rams will look to improve upon an offense that ranked 10th in yards in 2017. According to NFL Stats, the Rams offense average 361 yards per game. The offense made huge leaps under Sean McVay’s offense, that allowed quarterback Jared Goff to have a breakout season.
According to NFL Stats, Goff threw for 28 touchdowns after only throwing 5 in his rookie season. Not only did Goff’s touchdown number improve in his first full season, but his completion percentage also improved.
Goff went from completing 54.6 percent of his passes in 2016 to completing 62.1 percent in 2017. With his top receiver returning in Robert Woods and the addition of Brandon Cooks and his elite speed, the sky’s the limit for this L.A. offense.
While Goff and the passing attack have made huge strides, it’s the rushing attack that fuels this offense. Specifically, it’s Todd Gurley that fuels this team. According to NFL Stats, Gurley rushed for the 2nd most yards in 2017.
Additionally, Gurley led the league in rushing touchdowns with 13 to go along with 6 receiving touchdowns. Gurley will look to continue his dominant ways against a questionable Raiders defense.
Just Win Baby
The Raiders have a swagger about them these days. Despite the shocking trade that sent a once in a generation talent in Khalil Mack out of Oakland, the Raiders are getting a coach that’s instituting a tough-minded and grind it out style and culture. This Raiders team has a lot of talent, but after a down 2017 season, a lot of questions arose about this offense and what they can accomplish. In 2017, David Carr regressed and had the worst season of his career.
Coming into 2018, he’s a bit of a forgotten man. In 2016, Carr threw 28 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. If not for injuries the last two seasons, Carr would be considered one of the more consistent quarterbacks in the league. Under Gruden, however, Carr could see a return to prominence as Gruden relies heavily on running the ball often to maintain a balanced offense. Gruden has coached some of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL and knows how to build a strong offensive attack.
Rams Vs Raiders Betting Lines
The Raiders are an interesting team coming into the 2018 season. They likely will struggle to adapt to John Gruden’s system but are potentially a scary team come later in the season. But, in week one, they’re not the horse you want to back. The Rams are stacked on both sides of the ball, and as long as Goff continues to improve and Gurley’s there to pound the rock, expect the Rams to roll to victory.
Play: Rams -4.5 @ BetOnline.ag