In one of the most anticipated moments of this NFL season, Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa makes his first career start against All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams.
Both teams enter this Week 8 matchup very much in contention for a playoff spot, and for their respective division crowns.
The Dolphins (3-3) had an extra week to get ready for this game, with their bye coming in Week 7. In Week 6, Miami dismantled the New York Jets 24-0 at home. Tagovailoa made his professional debut in that game, completing two passes late in the fourt quarter when the victory was well in hand.
The Rams (5-2) comfortably handled the Chicago Bears in their last game this past Monday, beating the Bears by a final score of 24-10. Former Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd notched two sacks against his former team, and the Rams' defense forced Chicago QB Nick Foles into two interceptions.
Los Angeles Rams vs Miami Dolphins Head-To-Head
In one of the more lopsided head-to-head series you’ll ever see in the NFL, the Dolphins have beaten the Rams 11 out of the 13 times they've met. The last time the Rams prevailed over Miami was in September 2001, when the "Greatest Show On Turf" Rams were still in St. Louis. The final score of that game was 42-10.
Los Angeles Rams vs Miami Dolphins Team News
The Miami Dolphins handing over the QB reigns to their rookie signal caller is the main storyline for the team. Tagovailoa suffered a major hip injury in November 2019 while he was in college, making his first start in the NFL almost exactly a year since his debilitating injury.
The quarterback switch came as a surprise to veteran starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, who communicated that he was shocked by the decision.
The Los Angeles Rams come into the game pretty healthy at their key positions, but are hoping that tight end Tyler Higbee can return to the lineup after suffering a hand injury. Los Angeles did not miss Higbee against Chicago, as backup TE Johnny Mundt filled in serviceably with three catches and 47 yards on Monday night. Tight end Gerald Everett was also solid, scoring a touchdown in the third quarter of that game.
Los Angeles Rams vs Miami Dolphins Projected Starters
QB: Tua Tagovailoa
RB: Myles Gaskin
WR: Devante Parker, Preston Williams, Isaiah Ford
TE: Mike Gesicki
Los Angeles Rams
QB: Jared Goff
RB: Darrell Henderson
WR: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds
TE: Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee(Q)
Los Angeles Rams vs Miami Dolphins Prediction
There’s a classic tenet in NFL circles that West Coast teams traveling east and playing at 1 p.m. EST have a disadvantage. That's the position the Rams find themselves in this week.
The Rams are also contending with a short week, having played on Monday night, while Miami is coming off a bye. But one thing L.A. has going for itself every week, regardless of start time and location, is Aaron Donald. The league's most dominant defender gets to face a young Dolphins offensive line.
Prediction: The factors above bring the Rams down a couple notches due to the short turnaround, but at the end of the day, they can throw the most menacing defensive player in the NFL at a quarterback making his first start. Expect this game to be close, but the Rams should take care of business on the road.
Rams 23, Dolphins 20.Published 28 Oct 2020, 07:49 IST