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USA Today Sports Media Group
Skyler Carlin

6 Rams to watch in Week 5 vs. Eagles

The Los Angeles Rams are set to host the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 at SoFi Stadium. The Rams are coming off a 29-23 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4 after jumping out to a 23-0 lead in the contest.

Following the win against the Colts, the Rams improved to 2-2 on the season, with three of their first four games taking place on the road. As for the Eagles, they are among the two unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL (the other team is the San Francisco 49ers) after edging out the Washington Commanders 34-31 in overtime in Week 4.

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Ahead of what could be described as another litmus test for the Rams, here are six players to watch in Sunday’s showdown versus the Eagles.

QB Matthew Stafford

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

When looking at his three touchdown passes and five interceptions through the first four weeks, you would assume Matthew Stafford is having a down season. However, the veteran signal-caller is playing some of the best football among quarterbacks in the NFL this season.

Stafford has made some impressive throws this season and he’s looked healthy despite sustaining a hip injury in Week 4 versus the Colts, though, he doesn’t expect to be limited by the ailment in Week 5. The Rams are going to certainly need to put up plenty of points to upset the Eagles at home, and Stafford will need to avoid turning the ball over at inopportune times.

WR Puka Nacua

(AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

What a start to the season it has been for rookie Puka Nacua. The first-year wideout continues to rewrite the record books, setting the record for the most receptions (39) and receiving yards (501) for a player in his first four career games in the NFL.

After designating him to return from injured reserve, all signs point toward Cooper Kupp making his season debut on Sunday versus the Eagles. It will be interesting to see how Sean McVay and the Rams deploy Kupp and Nacua on the field together. Even if Kupp misses another week, we know Nacua is fully capable of handling an expanded workload as Stafford’s go-to target in the passing game.

LG Steve Avila

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Another standout rookie for the Rams on the offensive side of the ball has been Steve Avila. Avila, a second-round pick in this year’s draft, has started in all four games at left guard and he’s done more than hold his own against some of the best interior defenders in the league thus far.

In Week 5, Avila will be tasked with slowing down a combination of Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, and rookie Jalen Carter. Carter leads the Eagles with 20 pressures through the first four games of the season, so this is arguably Avila’s toughest task to date in his young career.

OLB Byron Young

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams have been getting fantastic production from rookie edge rusher, Byron Young. Young has tallied 16 combined tackles, eight quarterback hits, and two sacks in his first four games in the league.

After having to chase rookie Anthony Richardson around in Week 4, Young will face another strong, mobile quarterback in Jalen Hurts who is tough to take down. Besides trying to generate pressure when Hurts drops back, Young will need to be disciplined when the Eagles call designed runs for the dynamic signal-caller.

DT Kobie Turner

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Along the defensive front, we are seeing rookie Kobie Turner get more playing time each week. Turner has received over 50 percent of the defensive snaps this season and he’ll be needed alongside the likes of Aaron Donald, Bobby Brown III, and Jonah Williams, among others in Sunday’s meeting with the Eagles.

The Eagles boast a ground game that is currently producing 165.3 rushing yards per game, which is the second-most in the NFL (only behind the Miami Dolphins). Turner and the other defensive linemen on the Rams will need to slow down Philadelphia’s lethal rushing attack if they have any plans of handing the Eagles their first loss.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The signing of Ahkello Witherspoon has gone under the radar this season as the veteran cornerback has been playing lights out since joining the Rams. Witherspoon was given the responsibility of covering a big-bodied wideout in Michael Pittman Jr. in Week 4, with Pittman recording only one reception for 15 yards on five targets.

Following a matchup with Pittman, Witherspoon will go up against a different big-bodied receiver in A.J. Brown in Week 5. Brown is an extremely physical wideout who is capable of winning in a variety of ways, including after the catch. While Witherspoon has been sensational thus far, Brown has combined for 18 catches, 308 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in the last two weeks.

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