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What: Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers
When: Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 pm ET
Where: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
How (TV): FOX
Be sure to also check out our latest Super Bowl Odds and Predictions.
Latest point spread: Rams -3.5, Steelers +3.5
This promises to be an intense, Week 10 cross-conference matchup, with Jared Goff and his well-rested Los Angeles Rams traveling to Pennsylvania to take on Mason Rudolph and his surging Pittsburgh Steelers, both teams feeling like they have a chance in this one.
The Rams are coming off a bye week that followed a Week 9 spanking of the Cincinnati Bengals, whereas the Steelers are on a three-win roll, their most recent conquest achieved by way of a last-minute missed field goal by the Indianapolis Colts’ veteran placekicker.
Regardless, the Los Angeles is favored by just over a field goal while Pittsburgh gets to play in front of its hometown crowd, so let’s take a quick look at how these two teams measure up against each other for their Week 10 showdown.
Do you want more Week 10 action? Then check out our NFL Week 10 Power Rankings or head over to our weekly NFL Podcast for this week’s picks and best bets.
The Los Angeles Rams are simply the better football team here, with a more productive offense led by a tried and true franchise quarterback countered by a veteran defense that can shut opponents down.
These Rams measure up well against the Pittsburgh Steelers who have been struggling without their biggest playmakers on the field, and now that Los Angeles is healthy and well-rested after their bye, it shouldn’t be tough to get back to their winning ways, even on the road.
Running back Todd Gurley has been used sparingly so far this season and receivers Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods are still one of the best trio of targets in the game, so expect these Rams to travel well in Week 10 and put up a good fight on their way back to the postseason once again.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been playing solid football these last few weeks, winning four of their last five games after a horrible 0-3 start that included losing their franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, for the season due to a non-contact elbow injury.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph has been filling in under center in the meantime, and his 3-2 record (including an ongoing three-game win streak) has refueled the hope of Steelers fans and given the team a chance to re-take the AFC North from the soaring Baltimore Ravens.
But the Steelers’ defense is what’s truly making a difference these days – from the steady play of T.J. Watt to the exciting domination of rookie Devin Bush and the miraculous mid-season acquisition of the incredible Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh definitely has the D side of the ball covered.
These two cross-conference rivals have met 26 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Los Angeles winning 15 of those times and Pittsburgh winning the other 9 games, plus 2 ties.
The last time these two teams played was during the 2015 season in September when they were still called the St. Louis Rams and they got beaten by the Steelers, 12-6, in St. Louis.
If the Rams win this matchup, they’ll move to 6-3-0 and stay close to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, though at some point, both teams must figure out how to take care of the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
But if the Steelers come out winners in this one, they’ll be 5-4-0 and will have won five of their last six games, proof that they can still win the Ravens-dominated AFC North or at least compete for an AFC Wild Card playoff spot.
Who’s favored to win this Week 10 Rams-Steelers matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Rams and the Steelers next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Los Angeles Rams have the 10th ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 384.5 yards per game through the air after nine weeks.
Quarterback Jared Goff is currently under center in Los Angeles and ranked the 9th most productive passer in the league having completed 192-of-314 passes for 2,367 yards and 11 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 61.1.
The Rams’ leading receiver after nine weeks is Cooper Kupp, who is currently ranked 3rd in the league among receivers with 58 catches for 792 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Rushing attack: The Rams’ rushing attack is ranked 20th in the NFL after averaging 97.2 yards on the ground per game.
Todd Gurley is the Rams’ best runner and he is currently the 29th in the NFL with 83 carries for 355 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
Los Angeles has scored 214 total points this season, or 26.8 per game, which is the 8th best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: running back Malcolm Brown (ankle).
Injury notes: wide receiver Brandon Cooks (concussion) is listed as OUT, while wide receiver Alex Bachman (undisclosed) and offensive guard Joe Noteboom (knee – ACL + MCL) have been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Pittsburgh has the 27th best passing attack in the league right now after averaging 202.4 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph is the 31st most productive NFL passer after completing 109-of-165 passes for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns with 4 interceptions and a completion percentage of 66.1.
The Steelers’ best receiver is currently Juju Smith-Schuster, who has caught 33 passes for 459 yards with 3 touchdowns in nine weeks, ranked 37th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Pittsburgh has the 26th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 88.4 yards on the ground per game.
James Conner is the Steelers’ best runner and now he is the 24th most productive in the NFL with 97 carries for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
Pittsburgh has scored 176 points in 2019, averaging 22 per game, which is currently the 18th highest scoring average in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: running backs James Conner (shoulder – AC joint) and Trey Edmunds (ribs), wide receiver Ryan Switzer (back) and offensive guard Ramon Foster (concussion).
Injury notes: running back Benny Snell (knee – Meniscus) is listed as OUT, while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) has been placed on injured reserve.
The Los Angeles Rams have a definite offensive advantage over the Pittsburgh Steelers, both through the air and over the ground.
Pass coverage: The Rams have the 19th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for 241.1 yards through the air per game.
Los Angeles’s defense has 6 team interceptions and they have 23 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Rams are the 10th best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 96.9 yards per game.
Los Angeles has allowed their opponents to score 174 total points, or 21.8 per game, which is the 18th least in the NFL.
Make sure to watch for Rams’ inside linebacker Cory Littleton, who has already posted 66 total tackles (2 for a loss), 1.5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions, 10 passes defended, a forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries.
Right now, the Rams player with the most quarterback sacks is defensive end Dante Fowler, who has 6.5 of them, plus 9 quarterback hits, 2 passes defended, a forced fumble and 32 total tackles (9 for a loss).
Los Angeles strong safety John Johnson already has 2 interceptions, 4 passes defended and 51 total tackles in the Rams’ secondary.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: linebacker Bryce Hager (shoulder), linebacker Clay Matthews (jaw) and defensive tackle Tanzel Smart (illness).
Injury notes: linebackers Josh Carraway (Achilles), Micah Kiser (pectoral) and Justin Lawler (foot) and safety John Johnson (shoulder) have been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Steelers’ defense is 10th best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 228.0 yards per matchup.
Pittsburgh’s defense has 11 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 29 total sacks after nine weeks.
Run coverage: The Steelers are 16th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 107.5 yards per game.
Pittsburgh has allowed their opponents to score 169 total points this season, or 21.1 per matchup, which is 20th fewest in the NFL.
Rookie linebacker Devin Bush is everything the Steelers had hoped for – he’s got 66 total tackles (4 for a loss), 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended, a sack, 1 quarterback hit and 4 fumble recoveries.
You’ll want to keep your eyes on Steelers’ outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who has 7.5 sacks already (9th most in the league), plus 20 quarterback hits, an interception, 4 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 26 total tackles (7 for a loss).
Talk about paying off, recently acquired free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is playing extremely well for the Steelers, so far with 4 interceptions (one for a 96-yard pick-six), 10 passes defended, a forced fumble and 30 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: no defensive Steelers have been listed as questionable for Week 10.
Injury notes: linebacker Ryan Shazier (spine) is listed as PUP-R, while defensive ends Lavon Hooks (Achilles) and Stephon Tuitt (pectoral), linebacker Ulysees Gilbert (back) and safety Sean Davis (shoulder – Labrum) have been placed on injured reserve.
These two teams are about equal when it comes to defense, so neither of them will have a definitive defensive advantage on Sunday, although only one of these teams has Aaron Donald on its roster so anything could happen.
Los Angeles’ punter, Johnny Hekker, is in his ninth NFL season, fifth with the Rams, and this season he has punted 26 times for a net average of 41.0 yards per punt, which is T-26th best in the league.
Pittsburgh’s punter, Jordan Berry, is in his fifth NFL season, and this year he has punted 30 times for a net average of 41.0 yards per punt, T-26th best in the league.
Los Angeles’ placekicker, Greg Zuerlein, is in his ninth NFL season, his fifth with the Rams.
Zuerlein is 16-of-20 so far this season, his longest a 58-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (22/22).
Pittsburgh’s placekicker Chris Boswell is a former Pro Bowler and is in his fifth season with the Steelers.
Boswell is 17-for-18 this season, his longest a 51-yarder, and he has missed no extra point attempts (17/17).
Los Angeles’ punt returner, wide receiver JoJo Natson, is ranked 12th in average punt return yardage this year.
Natson has returned 12 punts for 118 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per return, his longest for 35 yards.
Pittsburgh’s punt returner, wide receiver Ryan Switzer, is ranked 41st in punt return average this season.
Switzer has returned 7 punts for 30 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 4.3 yards per return, his longest for 13 yards.
After nine weeks of football, these two teams have special teams with similar output, but because the Steelers have a more accurate placekicker right now, they will have a slight special teams advantage.
The Los Angeles Rams will win this one if they can get after Mason Rudolph – the young quarterback can be easily thrown off his game with some intense pressure from Aaron Donald and tight coverage by Jalan Ramsey and company.
The Rams’ offense will do well, as usual, but only if Jared Goff can avoid Minkah Fitzpatrick (he’s got 4 interceptions so far this season) and get rid of the ball quickly, or else he risks losing control of the game pace with turnovers early on.
The Steelers will make it close in the beginning, but in the end Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley will flex their veteran muscles and get the road win on their way to re-establishing their football dominance as one of the NFC teams to beat.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will win this one because they have the homefield advantage and they are on a surprising defensive roll, two factors that will shock and awe the Rams into a closely fought loss.
The Rams will underestimate Mason Rudolph, but at this point he can run the Steelers’ offense almost as good as Big Ben did, so it’s on Schuster and Conner and tight end Vance McDonald to make themselves available for targeting and fight for every yard after the catch.
The rest will be up to the Steelers’ defense – if they can keep the Rams to under 20 points, which is no easy feat, then they will have done their job and then it will be up to Pittsburgh’s struggling offense to figure out how to work together to put the ball in the end zone.
Los Angeles Rams by a field goal, because bottom line they are a better team than the Steelers, and this win helps them get back to the postseason where they belong.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Rams 26, Steelers 23.
My prediction for the final score is Rams 27, Steelers 24.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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