Football Team

3 things WFT fans should watch for in Rams vs. Titans on SNF

Football Team

Week 9's Sunday Night Football matchup might just be the best game we'll see under the bright lights all season. The 6-2 Tennessee Titans voyage out west to take on one of the few teams that will have a good shot at beating them: the 7-1 Los Angeles Rams.

Though the Washington Football Team won't play either squad this season, fans of the Burgundy & Gold will have a vested interest in the primetime matchup on NBC. Some familiar faces could hit the gridiron for the first time in a while, plus there's a chance this game might just be a preview of Super Bowl LVI.

Here are three things Washington fans should keep an eye on as two of the best teams in their respective conferences go head-to-head on SNF.

Will Adrian Peterson make a triumphant resurgence?

If you haven't heard by now, Derrick Henry--the Titans' star running back who was widely considered to be an MVP candidate this season--might have suffered a season-ending foot injury this past Sunday. He accounted for a massive portion of Tennessee's offense, meaning there is a huge opportunity waiting for the running back who will step up in his place.

To plug the hole left by Henry's absence, the Titans signed veteran running back and future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson this week. Peterson won't be remembered for his time in the nation's capital, but the tenacious runner did spend two seasons in Washington.

 

AP rushed for almost 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, and added one receiving TD over the 31 games he spent with Washington. He has defied father time again and again, so who is to say he won't suddenly make a triumphant return to the field vs. the Rams?

Washington fans who watched the team during the 2018 and 2019 seasons might feel a pleasant sensation of deja vu when Peterson hits the gridiron this Sunday Night. Keep an eye on AP as he tries to replicate his golden years when he was in Minnesota. He just might burst for another 150-yard game. However, the Titans' RB coach is not banking on AP being active for Sunday quite yet. He still needs to see how Peterson progresses in practice this week.

Will Stafford spread the love?

Through eight games, Tennessee has allowed the league's fifth-highest total receiving yards, fifth-most receiving touchdowns, and lot of big plays to opposing pass catchers. They'll face one of the league's highest-octane passing offenses this week on SNF when Matthew Stafford and the Rams host them.

Stafford has long been one of the league's finest and most stable quarterbacks. Since his trade from Detroit to L.A., he's suddenly in a spot where has a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl. It's helped by the fact that his receiving core is one of the best in the NFL.

Cooper Kupp leads the league in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, receptions of over 20 yards, and targets. He is the stalwart of the Rams' receiving room, followed by Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee. Stafford has a young group of targets to work with.

You know who else could have a young receiving core to work with once he returns from injury? Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Though nothing is guaranteed once Fitzpatrick does return, if that is to be this season, Washington's preseason QB1 could take a page out of Stafford's book from this Sunday's game. Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries, Dyami Brown and others will be waiting for Fitz once he gets back, if he takes the starting role from Taylor Heinicke.

Jalen Ramsey vs. A.J. Brown

Jalen Ramsey is one of, if not the league's best cornerback. He'll have his hands full this week as his assignment will likely be covering the Rams' WR1, A.J. Brown. Brown has the league's fifth-highest receiving grade vs. man coverage this season according to PFF, and has really come into his own the last few weeks with Ryan Tannehill throwing to him.

The Ramsey-Brown matchup could very well decide the game on Sunday night. With Tennessee's run game in freefall after the Derrick Henry injury, increased usage for Brown and Julio Jones could be on the docket.

Washington has struggled in man coverage all season. Watching a guy like Jalen Ramsey take on some of the league's best receivers will be a treat for WFT fans who have been starved for stellar defense all season.