The Los Angeles Rams fly out east to Heinz Field for a meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The defending NFC Champions are going to have to hope for an epic choke job by the San Francisco 49ers if they are going to capture the NFC West this season. Along with the 49ers, the Rams are going to need the Seattle Seahawks to trip up, too. After a breakout season that saw the Rams go to the Super Bowl, they go into Pittsburgh in Week 10 with a record of 5-3. Things haven’t come as easily to Sean McVay in 2019, but his team can go on a three-game win streak in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Rams are winners in their last two contests against the Falcons and Bengals. So, yeah, not the stingiest competition for the Rams the past two games. Prior to the Falcons game, there most recent win was against the Browns on Sunday Night Football. We’ve come to find out that the Browns are frauds this season, so the last time the Rams have had a reputable win was way back on September 15th in Week 2. They looked impressive with a 27-9 victory against the New Orleans Saints, but there isn’t another marquee win in their portfolio this season.
Their first win on the season was a 30-27 final over the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. The Panthers aren’t a terrible team, but haven’t been amongst the elite in the NFL. Conversely, the Rams’ losses are against the Buccaneers, Seahawks, and 49ers. They had a chance for big wins against the Seahawks and 49ers, though came up short in both instances. The Rams will have to wait for a signature win, because the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers won’t provide that on Sunday. Nevertheless, this could be a tricky matchup for the Rams on the road in a different time zone across the country.
The Steelers were on the right side of an Adam Vinatieri botch as he missed a chip shot for the Colts. Vinatieri has had an interesting season and the Steelers were able to enjoy his struggles last Sunday. The ensuing result was a big loss for the Colts and a big 26-24 win for the Steelers. Pittsburgh were able to move to 4-4 on the season with the win and keep pace in the playoff race. Catching the Ravens in the AFC North is going to be a tall order, but solid football in the winter could lead to a wildcard. Head below for our free Rams vs. Steelers pick from Heinz Field on Sunday.
L.A. Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Week 10 Betting Odds:
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Rams vs. Steelers Pick:
Jared Goff has not been the same quarterback that we saw throwing it around the yard last season. He finished the regular season with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 64.9% completions. Goff is off the mark with 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on 61.1% completions going into Pittsburgh. A big reason for his drop off has been the regression on the ground. The Rams’ offense is predicated around running the ball effectively and taking their shots off play-action. It ran so well last season because the defense had to keep an eye on Todd Gurley getting the ball.
The Rams are averaging just 97.2 yards per game rushing the football. That ranks just 20th in the NFL. In 2018, the Rams were a top-3 unit with 139.4 yards per game on the ground. So, the plays that were typically working for the Rams off play-action haven’t been there as often. Bill Belichick and the Patriots put out the blueprint in the Super Bowl on how to stop the Rams. Defensive coordinators around the league have down their homework and it’s paying off. Their points per game has dropped from 32.9 points per game to 26.8 points per game in 2019.
Pittsburgh will be going with Mason Rudolph under center again this week. He’s an inconsistent quarterback who can get hot and cold from quarter to quarter. I will give him a pass in his first quarter back following a concussion. He looked awful against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, but looked much more comfortable in the second-half when he got to shake the rust off.
Rudolph had another up and down performance last week, as he passed for a touchdown and interception on 74.3% completions. Rudolph has been serviceable enough, though, with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions heading into Sunday. We just don’t know if he can be a franchise QB or lifetime backup yet, though.
The Steelers have been getting after it defensively. This might not be Troy Polamalu and James Harrison Steelers, but they’re trending up nicely. They’ve surrendered 335.5 yards per game for 11th in the NFL. The Steelers’ defense have also yielded 21.1 points per game as opposed to 21.8 points for the Rams.
The Rams are still a good team, but they’re living off last season’s glory in a lot of eyes. Until their running game gets rolling, the offense is going to continue to perform below expectations. Expect this to be a tight game, with the Steelers showing up to play hard at home against the visiting Rams on Sunday. As long as Rudolph doesn’t completely bomb here, he should be able to keep the Steelers within a field goal.