LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-1) at HOUSTON (1-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, FOX
OPENING LINE: Rams by 14 1-2, according to FanDuel SportsBook
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Rams 4-3, Texans 3-4.
SERIES RECORD: Rams leads 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Rams beat Texans 33-7 on Nov. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles.
LAST WEEK: Rams beat Lions 28-19; Texans lost to Cardinals 31-5.
RAMS OFFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (23), PASS (3), SCORING (5).
RAMS DEFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (15), PASS (21), SCORING (8).
TEXANS OFFENSE: OVERALL (31), RUSH (30), PASS (30), SCORING (31).
TEXANS DEFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (31), PASS (18), SCORING (28).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Rams plus 5; Texans minus 3.
RAMS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Troy Reeder. Los Angeles abruptly traded second-leading tackler Kenny Young to Denver on Monday in a cost-saving move, which means Reeder and rookie Ernest Jones will have dramatic increases in their responsibilities and playing time. Reeder hasn’t been stellar in pass coverage, while Jones has taken only 45 defensive snaps.
TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: Texans WR Brandin Cooks leads the team with 502 yards receiving. He played for the Rams in 2018-19 and had a career-high 1,204 yards receiving in his first season with the team.
KEY MATCHUP: Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks third in the NFL with 2,179 yards passing and his 19 TD passes are second to Tom Brady’s 21. Now he’ll face a secondary that has been plagued by its inability to eliminate big plays.
KEY INJURIES: Rams LT Andrew Whitworth (knee) leads several Rams with minor injuries whose status might not be clear until game time. S Jordan Fuller, rookie CB Robert Rochell and LB Terrell Lewis are also nursing knee injuries, while DT Sebastian Joseph-Day has a strained pectoral muscle. Los Angeles also is without CB Darious Williams (ankle) for one more week. … Houston QB Tyrod Taylor returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Week 2, but isn’t ready to play yet and will miss his sixth straight game Sunday. … C Justin Britt missed practice with a knee injury but should play Sunday. … LB Christian Kirksey’s status for the game is uncertain after he injured his thumb last week.
SERIES NOTES: The Rams have won two in a row. … Houston’s only win in the series came on Dec. 20, 2009 at St. Louis. … The Rams won the first meeting in the series in overtime in 2005. Their wins in 2013 and 2017 were both blowouts. … The Rams have won six in a row against the AFC South, with their last lost to the division coming on Nov. 3, 2013.
STATS AND STUFF: Stafford threw three TD passes last week to give him 301 in his career, making him the 13th player in NFL history to amass 300 touchdown passes. … WR Robert Woods had six receptions for 70 yards last week and has a touchdown reception in his last two games against Houston. … DL Aaron Donald has 3 ½ sacks and five tackles for losses combined in his last five road games. He had a sack and forced a fumble in his last game against the Texans. … CB Jalen Ramsey had his second interception last week. … Houston QB Davis Mills has thrown seven interceptions on the road but in two home games he has four TD passes and no interceptions. … RB Mark Ingram, who started every game this season, was traded to New Orleans on Wednesday. … LB Zach Cunningham had a tackle for a loss last week. … DE Jonathan Greenard had two sacks and defended a pass last week. … DE DeMarcus Walker had two tackles for losses and his first sack of the season at Arizona. DE Maliek Collins also had his first sack of the year in Week 7. … Kirksey had eight tackles last week. … CB Lonnie Johnson led the team with a season-high nine tackles and had an interception against the Cardinals.
FANTASY TIP: WR Cooper Kupp had 10 receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns last week to give him at least two TD catches in four of the Rams’ first seven games.
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