Rams vs Colts: Sony Michel and Brian Allen top ‘players to watch’ list

As the Los Angeles Rams emerged victorious after a Week 1 clash against the Chicago Bears, fans and enemies were finally able to see how Chicago’s new offense would fare against the NFL’s top defensive team and at reigning DPOY Aaron Donald. While most of the oft-heralded offseason acquisitions and draft picks have seen the playing field to some extent, some weren’t as featured as many of us would like.

With rookie Robert Rochell displaying lockdown cover abilities on the fourth pass attempts, wide receiver DeSean Jackson paving the way by taking off the tops of opposing defenses and the untapped potential of Tutu Atwell and Jake Funk, the list of must-have performers is. also as long as the season is promising.

But in a looming Week 2 game against the Indianapolis Colts, there are a few names that I’m going to be keeping a particularly close eye on.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sony Michel, RB

I’ve been a Sony Michel fan since his days as a member of the Georgia Bulldogs, where he shared a backfield with former Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley during a glorious season in 2014. Since Gurley is often credited to be something also a mentor to Michel, the script almost becomes a bit too much sweet if the latter becomes the heir apparent to the former in head coach Sean McVay’s offensive system.

Drafted by the New England Patriots in 2018, Michel never blossomed like a true RB1 under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick. In three years as the Patriot, Michel carried the ball 535 times for an average of 4.3 yards per carry. While not a traditional backstroke or blazing speed, Michel has a sneaky running style similar to injured Rams Cam Akers and could potentially fill that role as the season progresses. advance.

Make no mistake, I love Darrell Henderson’s work ethic, his patience and the home hitting dimension he adds to the game every time he touches football. Considering that Michel was just added to the Rams roster in August, it stands to reason that it will take Sony a few weeks to be fully immersed in the playbook. After carrying the ball only one times for a total of two yards in week 1, I’m interested to see how Michel’s role in the offense evolves.

NFL: Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Brian allen

It seems almost lazy at this point to bring up the offensive line’s concerns for Los Angeles. But wait! What is that? Brian Allen had a solid, if not great, game against the Chicago Bears in Week 1? Surely that can’t be the same position pundits discussed during the offseason as the crucial weak spot of an otherwise highly regarded unit.

But it does, and Rams fans are downright stunned by Allen’s prime-time performance in the lights of Sunday Night Football.

Of course, one would be remiss not to ask, “Is this a sign of things to come or a one-game aberration in what will end up being a long season?” The answer, of course, remains to be seen, which is why I am including him in this list. I want to to see what he brings in in week 2. It should be noted that the Rams only took 52 offensive shots against the Bears 69, so a larger sample size will go a long way in determining whether Allen is a boom or bust in his second stint as a starting center.

Because the Los Angeles offense was less than balanced until the fourth quarter, and the PFF style ranking would be a bit skewed and should be taken with a grain of salt. I’m confident in McVay’s ability to assess player talent, however, I’d like to see how Allen fares in a rushed attack featured in the first three quarters.

Justin hollin

Justin Hollins introduced himself and showed himself from his first tenure at the OLB. With most of the offensive line’s attention focused on Donald and Leonard Floyd still being a legitimate threat, the pressure was on Hollins to make the most of his one-on-one looks and quickly get to the bearer of the ball. . Not only did he deliver a dominant performance with eight tackles, two sacks, a loss tackle and a forced fumble, but most of his damage was done against Bears’ Pro Bowl LT, Jason Peters.

As impressive as Hollins’ play was, his three-sack tally in 2020 was a career high and he’s never been a regular starter until this year. While it’s too much to ask any player to match the kind of statistical outing they enjoyed Sunday night week after week, if Hollins can come close to replicating those numbers on a consistent basis, or at least be a constant threat out of edge when facing Floyd, this will raise the level of play of the whole defense and reestablish unity as the best in football.

Against an Indianapolis Colts offensive line that allowed three sacks, 10 quarterback hits and a meager 3.8 YPC on the ground, Hollins is in good shape to pick up where he left off during the week. 1. However, with the film on tape for Colts head coach Frank Reich to plot, a rehearsal of the performance would go a long way in determining whether Justin Hollins truly thrives in his role as a full-time starter, or s’. he was a one night benefactor of the Donald Effect.

Read: Q&A with Colts Blog

Who are you excited to see in week 2?


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