Connect with us

NFL Picks

Saints vs Rams Picks and Predictions NFL Week 16 Thursday Night Football

New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Rams picks, predictions, and game preview for this Week 16 Thursday Night Football Game.

When: 8:15 PM ET, Thursday, December 21, 2023
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

The Los Angeles Rams have won four of their last five games to move into the final wild-card playoff spot in the NFC.

The New Orleans Saints have won two games in a row and are tied for the best record in the NFC South in addition to being a wild-card contender.

Both teams are 7-7 as they meet Thursday night in Los Angeles for a game with major playoff implications.

The Rams’ resurgence has been boosted by the return of running back Kyren Williams from an ankle injury. He has averaged 124.3 rushing yards in the four games since his return.

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp has matched his season high in catches (eight) in each of the last two games, finishing with 111 and 115 yards. He has a touchdown each of the last three games.

Coach Sean McVay is hoping the Rams can regain their offensive productivity inside the red zone. L.A. ranks 11th in the NFL in percentage of red-zone visits that have ended with touchdowns (60.5), but it’s only at 50 percent the last two games.

The Rams were 1-for-3 last week in a 28-20 home victory against Washington. Two weeks ago they were 3-for-5, which cost them in a 37-31 overtime loss at Baltimore, their only defeat in the last six weeks.

“We’ve been pretty good in the red zone overall,” McVay said. “There’s been a heightened awareness, especially the last couple of weeks, because of the way we went right down the field on our opening drive and had to settle for a field goal.

“Ultimately you want to come away with touchdowns. I’ve got to be better (at calling plays).”

The Rams are looking to improve their red-zone performance in a manner similar to how New Orleans has improved its showing inside the 20.

The Saints have been near the bottom of the NFL in red-zone efficiency for most of the season but have moved up to 21st after scoring nine touchdowns in 10 red-zone trips during the last three games.

The improvement coincides with coach Dennis Allen devoting more practice time to the red zone. The Saints were 2-for-2 in a 24-6 home victory against the New York Giants last Sunday, raising their touchdown rate for the season to 52 percent.

“You get what you emphasize,” Allen said, “and I think the extra amount of practice that we’ve spent on red zone has been good for us.”

New Orleans had a season-high seven sacks in the victory against the Giants after a week in which Allen challenged the team’s veteran players to play better.

“I think a lot of those guys took that as a personal challenge,” Allen said, “and I think you saw some of our veteran players really step up and play at an exceptionally high level.”

Both teams held walk-throughs Tuesday so their practice reports featured estimates of what the involvement would have been for a full practice. Saints starting tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee), who missed last week’s game, did not participate while starting wide receiver Chris Olave (ankle), who also missed last week’s game, was upgraded to limited.

The only Rams players not to practice Tuesday were backup cornerback Tre Tomlinson (hamstring) and offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom (foot). Noteboom has played in 12 games this season, making seven starts.

–Field Level Media

Free NFL Picks & Predictions:

Our numbers show that the best opportunity to make money on this Saints vs Rams Thursday Night Football game is to take the Rams First Quarter Team Total Over 6.5 points -120. Then tap here to get Free NFL Parlay Access going in this same game.


More in NFL Picks