EAGLES’ GROUND GAME WILL EXPLODE VS. RAMS’ STRUGGLING D

St. Louis Rams (1-2) at Eagles (3-1)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – TV: FOX29
TV announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa

Keys to the game: The popular topic in Philly is what is wrong with RB LeSean McCoy (photo above), who is averaging just 2.7 yards on 70 carries this season. The domino effect begins with the underperforming offensive line and ends with QB Nick Foles, who is completing just 57.8 percent of his passes — and only 25.6 percent of attempts 20-plus yards downfield. Foles is getting hit regularly, and missing open targets almost as often.The deep pass is integral to the Eagles’ passing attack, but Foles will have to get the ball out quickly against the Rams’ stout front seven.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher named Austin Davis as his starting quarterback going forward, putting his faith in the former undrafted rookie who has impressed his teammates with his poise as a third-stringer thrust into the limelight. This will be Davis’ first NFL test against a 3-4 defense, and the Eagles regularly crashed the pocket in San Francisco last week. Davis has led a consistent passing attack, but he also has three interceptions and the Rams will lean on RB Zac Stacy early in trying to avoid a score-for-score shootout.
OFFICIAL FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
RAMS
–Out: CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), CB Brandon McGee (foot)
–Questionable: WR Tavon Austin (knee)
–Probable: QB Shaun Hill (thigh)
Practice Report
EAGLES
–Out: C Jason Kelce (hernia), LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
–Questionable: CB Brandon Boykin (hamstring)
–Probable: TE Trey Burton (achilles), CB Nolan Carroll (ankle), TE James Casey (knee), WR Josh Huff (shoulder), WR Jeremy Maclin (hamstring), WR Brad Smith (groin), T Matt Tobin (ankle), S Earl Wolff (knee)

MATCH-UP TO WATCH

Rams WR Tavon Austin vs. Eagles CB Brandon Boykin: Boykin continues to be bothered by a hamstring injury, although he did a good job of shadowing the 49ers’ Michael Crabtree over the middle on a third down last week. Austin, who has been battling a sore knee, presents a different set of issues with his quick acceleration and versatility as the Rams put him in motion seeking mismatches and confusion for the defense.

Player spotlight

Eagles RT Lane Johnson: The second-year player returns from a four-game suspension and provides an immediate boost to the Eagles’ run-blocking, although it remains to be seen how many snaps he’s ready to handle off the bat.

FAST FACTS

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin has 20 catches, but they have come on 45 targets. His 44.4 catch percentage is the second lowest in the league among wideouts with at least 10 targets. … The Rams’ opponents the next eight games have a combined 19-10 record.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Rams’ struggles in stopping the run (5.1 yards per carry), lead to a breakout game for McCoy while allowing Foles to get back to his high-percentage downfield attack.

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