The Las Vegas Raiders will take a second trip to Los Angeles this year to face the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
The Silver and Black are riding the momentum of a three-game winning streak as they prepare for the Rams on a short week. The team has been clicking on both sides of the ball with the offensive trio of Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs playing some of their best football to date. The defense has also come alive in the past few weeks as well, finding ways to get stops in clutch moments.
As for the Rams, they've lost their last six games as injuries have hampered their roster. They currently have 12 players on injured reserve. Nevertheless, the Raiders can't look past their opposition, who still has more than enough talent to be competitive in SoFi Stadium.
Here are three headline matchups to follow going into the Week 14 showdown.
Davante Adams vs. Jalen Ramsey
Both Davante Adams and Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey are regarded as two of the best at their position.
Adams and Ramsey have been All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections multiple times across their careers, and both have enjoyed recent success on the West Coast. In Adams' first season as a Raider, he's on pace to break the franchise record for most receiving yards in a season, and is tied with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for most touchdown catches this season (12). Ramsey has compiled seven interceptions and 39 pass deflections in his four seasons as a Ram.
"We've played against each other a couple of times," Adams said Tuesday. "It never ends up panning out like the heavyweight bout everybody hypes it up to be going into the week, just based off scheme. And obviously every offense I've been in I've moved around a lot, which I can't do anything about and nor can he. He can only do what the defensive call is.
"But any time we do have the opportunity to go up one-on-one it's something that is a fun matchup where you got two guys known to go at it a little bit."
While Ramsey has recorded 10 pass deflections and two sacks, he's also allowed seven touchdowns as a primary defender – according to Pro Football Focus. The last time the two faced each other, Adams had five catches for 41 yards with Ramsey covering him.
The receiver also has a 3-0 career record against Ramsey, including the playoffs.
Josh Jacobs vs. Bobby Wagner
Josh Jacobs has seemed unstoppable against defenses the past month.
The Week 12 AFC Player of the Week has 613 total scrimmage yards over the Raiders' three-game winning streak. Jacobs' 1,303 rushing yards lead the league, averaging 5.4 yards a carry.
The Rams run defense is ranked fourth in the NFL, largely in part to their offseason free agent signing Bobby Wagner. The linebacker was a six-time All-Pro selection in his 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before arriving to Los Angeles. He currently leads his team in total tackles (97) and is tied with Aaron Donald for most sacks (five). Pro Football Focus has given Wagner a 90.7 run defense grade as well.
"[H]e's put together a Hall of Fame career," said Derek Carr, who battled Wagner in college while both were in the Western Athletic Conference. "It's fun to see him, there's not many of us from the WAC anymore. To see him still playing at a high level ... It will be fun to compete against him, it always is, because he's one of the best linebackers to ever play our game."
The success of Jacobs has been aided by the play of the offensive line, who must devise a plan to keep Wagner away from the running back in this matchup. The Raiders running back has 750 rushing yards on runs in between the tackles, according to Next Gen Stats.
Raiders defense vs. Rams quarterback dilemma
The Raiders defense is heating up at the right time, playing a huge part in the team's last three wins.
Over the past three weeks, the defense has compiled 11 sacks and three turnovers. The unit is led by edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, who's combined for 6.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits in that three-game span. The Raiders secondary has been fueled by the return of Nate Hobbs, who led the team in tackles against the Chargers, as well as Rock Ya-Sin and rookie Sam Webb.
As for the Rams offense, they're missing a lot of their key weapons due to injury. Wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are on injured reserve, as is quarterback Matthew Stafford. Without Stafford, it's still a bit of a mystery who will get the start.
John Wolford, who threw for 178 yards and two interceptions last Sunday, is day-to-day with a neck injury. If he's not able to go Thursday, the Rams could turn to Bryce Perkins. The second-year quarterback from Virginia has started one game for the Rams this season, throwing for 100 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 44 yards in the appearance. In the Raiders' 17-16 preseason victory over the Rams in 2021, Perkins accounted for 249 total yards of offense and threw two touchdowns.
Also can't forget to mention the Rams picking up former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield off waivers Tuesday. While Mayfield is unlikely to be ready to play Thursday, it's still an intriguing development to keep an eye on. Mayfield has thrown for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games with the Carolina Panthers this season.
View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 13 win against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium