Which Los Angeles Rams players must the Washington Commanders keep quiet to stand any chance of a major upset in Week 15?
Keeping the Los Angeles Rams quiet presents a major challenge for the Washington Commanders and head coach Ron Rivera as he embarks on what will likely be his final few games in the role.
Rivera's first go at calling the defense yielded nothing but points and yards for the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. The Rams are just as high-powered thanks to a pair of elite wide receivers.
On this topic, here are three players the Commanders must keep quiet to win in Week 15.
Commanders need to hit Puka Nacua early and often
Going from an unheralded fifth-round draft pick to a rookie sensation is a credit to Puka Nacua's talent, tenacity, and intelligence. The former BYU standout has won with size, speed, and power at every level of the field.
It's going to be important for the Washington Commanders to hit Nacua early and often. Ron Rivera must scheme ways to put plenty of bodies around No. 17 and deny him the open-field spaces Rams' head coach Sean McVay often creates with clever play designs.
One such design saw Nacua strike out of a bunch formation to produce this catch and run over the middle against the Baltimore Ravens last week, per Seven Rounds in Heaven.
The Commanders can limit these plays by flooding the inside zones with a safety rotating from deep and linebackers dropping underneath. As much as possible, Nacua also needs to be jammed at the line of scrimmage to disrupt his release.
Those tactics will be tough to employ against another receiver just like Nacua.