Rams-Raiders matchups, how to watch and prediction




Rams coach Sean McVay talks to quarterback John Wolford before a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13 at SoFi Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Rams coach Sean McVay talks to quarterback John Wolford before a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13 at SoFi Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)  

Breaking down how the Rams (3-9) and the Las Vegas Raiders (5-7) match up heading into their game at 5:15 p.m. PST on Thursday at SoFi Stadium. The game will be shown on Fox (Ch. 11) and streamed on Amazon Prime.

When Rams have the ball

Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins warms up before a game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins warms up before a game against the Seattle Seahawks.  

The Rams would love to see what new quarterback Baker Mayfield can do, but with only two days of preparation he is probably a long shot to play against the Raiders. However, coach Sean McVay said he was leaning toward Mayfield being active.

John Wolford is questionable because of a neck injury. If Wolford does not play, Bryce Perkins is available. Whoever plays will be passing to a receiving corps that includes Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell, Brandon Powell and Austin Trammell.

Atwell showed in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that he can be more than a deep threat. His one-handed catch on a pass to the middle of the field produced a 30-yard gain. Atwell and Powell also probably will continue to be featured on jet sweeps.

Running back Cam Akers, exiled by coach Sean McVay for more than two weeks earlier this season, had a breakthrough performance against the Seahawks, carrying a season-high 17 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie Kyren Williams also will get carries.

Defensive end Maxx Crosby has 10 1/2 sacks for a Raiders defense that also features end Chandler Jones, who has 3 1/2 sacks. Safety Duron Harmon has two interceptions.

When Raiders have the ball

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr throws the ball against the Chargers.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr throws the ball against the Chargers.  

Quarterback Derek Carr leads an offense that features running back Josh Jacobs - the NFL's leading rusher - and receivers Davante Adams and Mack Hollins. Carr has passed for 20 touchdowns, with eight interceptions. In Sunday's 27-20 victory over the Chargers, Carr passed for two touchdowns, with an interception.

Jacobs has rushed for 1,303 yards, including 144 against the Chargers. He has scored 10 touchdowns, and also has 42 receptions. Adams has 79 catches for 1,176 yards and is tied for the league lead with 12 touchdowns receiving. He has produced more than 125 yards receiving in four of the last five games. Hollins has 45 catches, three for scores.

Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey has given up several touchdown passes but always looks forward to matchups against star receivers such as Adams. The Rams again will be without defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who remains sidelined because of a high ankle sprain.

Lineman Michael Hoecht has proved valuable as an edge rusher. Hoecht had two sacks and forced a fumble against the Seahawks. Cornerback Troy Hill is questionable and cornerback David Long is out because of groin injuries. Rookies Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant could start.

When they kick

Rams kicker Matt Gay has been a lone star of consistency, making 18 of 19 field-goal attempts, including three of four from 50 yards or farther. Riley Dixon has averaged 42.4 net yards per punt.

Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson has made 25 of 28 field-goal attempts, eight of 10 from 50 yards or longer. AJ Cole has averaged 43.7 net yards per punt.

How the Rams and Raiders match up in Thursday
How the Rams and Raiders match up in Thursday's game.  

Gary Klein's prediction: The Raiders are riding a three-game winning streak and will be buoyed by what is sure to be a loud contingent of fans at SoFi Stadium. The Rams will lose their seventh game in a row.

RAIDERS 24, RAMS 20

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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