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Raiders/Rams Week 14 Thursday Night Football preview: Can Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams exploit LA’s defense?

5 questions with Turf Show Times for a TNF preview

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As arguably the best wide receiver and running back duo in the NFL, Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs have been on fire during the Las Vegas Raiders' current three-game win streak. Those two have combined for over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns over the last three games, an unwelcomed sight for a beat-up Los Angeles Rams defense.

That’s part of the reason why the Raiders are such heavy favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook heading into this Week 14 Thursday Night Football matchup. It’s also a topic I made sure to cover with Evan Craig of Turf Show Times for this week’s five questions with the enemy.

Question: Sean McVay said on Sunday that Matthew Stafford is likely done for the season. Bryce Perkins and John Wolford have filled in for Stafford at different points this year, but which one will be starting on Thursday? And can you briefly touch on what each of them brings to the table?

Answer: If you want the Raiders to win, this is the time to be facing the Rams. Neither quarterback is very experienced so LV’s emerging defensive front will have a field day against the young gunslingers.

John Wolford suffered a neck injury in the loss to the Seahawks so he might not be ready to go Thursday. At least I hope to God he isn’t. After a pair of starts for him this season, I still can’t tell you what he brings to this offense besides a noodle for a right arm. How the hell the guy has made it this far as an NFL quarterback is beyond me.

He just isn’t a good player at all and LA nearly had the win in spite of him. If he does end up starting, fantasy players should pick up the Raiders D as quickly as possible since Wolford will be tossing ducks all game.

As for Bryce Perkins, I thought he should’ve started even though he didn’t fare much better against the Chiefs the week prior. Perkins has mobility which a signal caller under Sean McVay has never exhibited before. His legs are more of a threat than his arm. That added dimension is everything for a Rams team that can’t find a rhythm through the air right now.

Q: Similar question as above, with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson on injured reserve, who’s left in the Rams’ receiving corps, and who would you say is their go-to guy moving forward?

A: I’m going to list two receivers because of all the versatility they’ve flashed at points this season: Tutu Atwell and Brandon Powell. Atwell and Powell are speed demons who have big play potential written all over them.

Both were utilized in the running game against Seattle. Powell finished as the second-leading rusher on the team after Cam Akers and had an incredible 20-yard run. He caught all of his four targets for 39 yards as well.

I’ve been begging for Tutu to be featured more because he’s made plays in his limited time on the field. It’s been a pleasure seeing him try to shut up the haters who’ve had it out for him since he was drafted. Atwell actually led the team in receiving with 48 yards on two receptions, his longest going for 30. For anyone on the roster who can throw more than 20 yards downfield, this is the guy to throw to.

Q: I know losing Andrew Whitworth was huge but beyond that, what’s been the biggest reason for Los Angeles’ struggles on the offensive line this season?

A: Injuries have killed LA’s offensive line all season. It’s been so bad that they’ve rolled out a new offensive line combination in every game besides the opener. I don’t understand how Matthew Stafford didn’t get injured sooner with all the punishment he’s taken.

While the injuries are a big reason why the front office is just as guilty. They should be at fault for refusing to address the unit more in the offseason. They knew Whitworth would be gone but that shouldn’t have been the only reason for the unit to completely fall off a cliff. Their lack of depth at one of the most vital positions on the team is coming back to bite them in painful ways.

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs
Aaron Donald
Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Q: Last week was the first full game the Rams have had to play without Aaron Donald. What was the biggest difference in the defense without Donald in the lineup, and do you know if he’ll be playing on Thursday?

A: Obviously the biggest difference is that opposing quarterbacks are able to sleep easier the night before knowing Donald is on the sideline. That big meanie won’t be around to harass Derek Carr so his crying should be kept to a minimum this week. Just his presence alone is enough to terrify opposing offensive coordinators so with him gone, there isn’t really another player that can fill in for the All-Pro.

It’s looking like the Rams will be without him for another week at least. In all fairness, the defensive line still performed well containing the run, limiting the Seahawks to just 90 yards on the ground with only one rush going over 10 yards. However, their lack of pressure on the final drive allowed Geno to push the ball down the field with ease.

I’m not saying the Rams would’ve won if AD was playing but having him in the game at such a crucial time would’ve made that drive a lot more challenging for Seattle.

Q: Building off that, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering a weekly special where Josh Jacobs rushing for over 100 yards and Davante Adams logging more than 100 receiving yards is a +300 bet. How do you think the Rams’ defense stacks up against those two? Would you take that bet?

A: With or without Aaron Donald, the Rams still have a strong defensive line that can limit Jacobs as much as possible. If anything happens in this game, I would expect to see Davante Adams logging over 100 receiving yards more than Josh Jacobs rushing over 100.

LA’s secondary isn’t very strong and they allowed Geno Smith to carve them up Sunday. The Seahawks had two receivers with over 100 receiving yards and let those guys go to town all game long. Davante will find holes in the defense so I would expect to see him stay hot and probably burn Ramsey to a crisp on more than one occasion.