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During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…
After having blown their chance to get right back into the Wild Card mix last week, the Jets host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, rounding out their pre-bye week schedule. The Rams have lost four straight after a 3-1 start that included low-scoring wins over the Seahawks and Cardinals. The teams last met in 2012 with the Jets, led by Mark Sanchez, winning 27-13. That was the second win in a row in the series for the Jets, following a sequence of seven straight Rams wins that dated back to 1983.
Let's break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the Rams to try and highlight what to watch out for.
Case Keenum remains as the Rams' starter, with the coaching staff sticking by him despite a disappointing season so far. Keenum won the job in preseason and fared reasonably well as a game manager in an early season three-game winning streak. However, it took the Rams until week three to score their first offensive touchdown of the season and he's thrown eight interceptions and been sacked 12 times over the current four-game losing streak.
Looming on the horizon is first overall pick Jared Goff, who has yet to play but will surely get his opportunity soon if the Rams fall out of contention. Earlier this week, Cris Carter called the pick a "colossal mess-up" and suggested that the Rams should admit they had blown it by selecting him. Goff completed less than 45 percent of his passes against backups in the preseason.
Head coach Jeff Fisher has suggested that Keenum's struggles are partly attributable to poor execution elsewhere on the offense, which might explain their reluctance to turn to Goff if that's a concern.
The Rams' offensive line has been a real weakness, with former second overall pick Greg Robinson in particular continuing to struggle at left tackle. Robinson is only halfway through his third season, but has already been flagged for 35 penalties, including nine this year.
The one thing the Rams' line has going for it is continuity. Robinson, center Tim Barnes, left guard Rodger Saffold and right tackle Rob Havenstein have missed just one snap between them all season, and all four were also opening day starters last year. Havenstein, who was drafted in the second round last season, has been the most reliable lineman on the team in 2016.
At right guard, both Cody Wichmann and Jamon Brown have seen time, but Brown has been injured over the past few weeks so Wichmann is more likely to start. As with Havenstein, both were drafted last season.
Garrett Reynolds has been a big loss on the line, after having been released in September due to a preseason injury. Saffold, Wichmann and Brown started 21 games between them at guard last year though, so there is plenty of familiarity there.
Last year's 10th overall pick Todd Gurley had a disappointing start to the season. His best game saw him rush for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 win over the Bucs, but averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. That was his highest yards per carry average in any of the first five weeks. Gurley's average has improved to four yards per carry over the past three games, but the Rams have still lost all three. In addition, he's carried the ball just 14 times per game in those three, as opposed to 21 times per game in the first five.
Gurley has been dealing with a thigh injury but is going to play. His main backup is Benny Cunningham, who has just 12 carries and 11 catches on the year. Gurley has 25 catches himself.
Fullback Cory Harkey is used sparingly but is a solid blocking back.
One bright spot from the Rams' season so far has been veteran Kenny Britt, who is well on his way to a career year and has recently started campaigning to make the Pro Bowl. Britt has 37 catches for 584 yards at the halfway point of the season. He's never had 50 catches or 800 yards in a season before and looks certain to surpass both as long as he remains healthy.
2013's eighth overall pick, Tavon Austin, is tied with Britt with 37 receptions but is averaging just 8.5 yards per catch as the Rams throw him a lot of short passes and rely on him to create yards after the catch. The third receiver is Brian Quick, who is tied with Britt with three touchdown catches on the year. He also leads the team with a 16.9 yards-per-catch average.
Lance Kendricks is a productive pass catcher at tight end. He has 32 catches on the year so far. Kendricks is slightly undersized and not much of a blocker though.
Most of the Rams' reserve pass catchers are rookies, with tight ends Temarrick Hemingway and Tyler Higbee and wide receivers Pharaoh Brown and Mike Thomas rounding out the rotation. Those four comprise two-thirds of the Rams' 2016 draft class but have combined for just six catches so far.
While the Rams are widely considered one of the poorer teams in the league, they're actually ranked as the third-best defense in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. That defense was on show early on in the season, as they beat Seattle 9-3 and Arizona 17-13.
The driving force behind the defense is defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who - with JJ Watt out - can realistically claim to be the most dominant defensive player in the entire NFL. Donald is a relentless pass rusher and he has racked up five sacks in the last five games after surprisingly being held without one for the first three weeks.
Other than Donald, nobody on the Rams has more than two sacks, including Robert Quinn. Quinn had double digit sacks in each of his last three full seasons, including 19 in 2013. However, he missed half of last year and ended up with just five.
Thirty-one-year-old William Hayes plays across from Quinn. He has never had more than seven sacks in a season, but is an excellent run defender.
The fourth starter is Michael Brockers who, at 322 pounds, plays the space-stuffer role on the Rams' defense. He's been a bit banged up in recent weeks though.
The Rams will rotate in their reserves and give them plenty of reps, although Donald plays more than anyone else. Those reserves include former Patriots first-rounder Dominique Easley, who continues to show promise against the run, and experienced veterans Cam Thomas and Eugene Sims.
The Rams have an unusual depth chart which lists four defensive linemen, one linebacker and six defensive backs as their starters. By that measure, Alec Ogletree is their only starting linebacker and he never comes off the field so his reserves don't get to play.
However, one of those six listed defensive backs is Mark Barron, who despite still being listed as a safety by the team - and wearing a defensive back's number - plays almost exclusively in the box as a second linebacker. He's listed at just 213 pounds, but has tremendous athleticism.
Another safety who has actually been playing mostly in the box is rookie Josh Forrest, who was the only draft pick the Rams made in 2016 that wasn't a quarterback or a pass catcher.
The Rams operate their secondary with nickel personnel and have been performing well, no doubt helped by the amount of pressure being created up front.
Trumaine Johnson is actually the elder statesman of this group at 26. The other four starters are all 25, as they have some real potential as a unit, despite the departure of Janoris Jenkins. Johnson led the Rams with seven interceptions last season, although they have just four as a team so far this year.
Safety Maurice Alexander and slot corner LaMarcus Joyner are transitioning into a full-time role and each has responded well and shown improvement since last year.
The other safety TJ McDonald started as a rookie in 2013 and has been in the line-up ever since. He's the son of former Jets defensive backs coach Tim McDonald.
Troy Hill barely played last year as an undrafted rookie, but began the year as a starter and is still listed as one on the official depth chart. However, E.J. Gaines - who is only 24 - has been starting for the last few weeks. Gaines started as a rookie in 2014, but missed all of last year with a Lisfranc injury.
Punter Johnny Hekker is having an excellent year. He's allowed just 73 yards on returns all season long and has the third-best net average in the league. Placekicker Greg "Legatron" Zuerlein has been perfect from inside 50 yards so far this year, but missed two of his four attempts from beyond 50.
Cunningham and Austin have been handling return duties for the Rams for the fourth straight year. While neither has broken a 50-yard return yet so far this year, they've had some success in the past. Cunningham's 102-yard kick-off return last year was just two yards off being the longest non-scoring return in NFL history and Austin had four punt return touchdowns in his first three seasons.
Finally, on kick coverage, back-up receiver Bradley Marquez and rookie defensive back Marqui Christian are players to watch.
I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.
Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.