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Home-field Advantage For The Eagles This Sunday? The Rams Are Preparing For The Possibility


Rams head coach Sean McVay is remolding the franchise into a winning one.

The Rams' 4-12 finish a year ago marked 12 straight seasons without a playoff appearance, the third-longest current drought in the NFL. At 9-3 this season, the Rams are in strong contention to snag a long-awaited postseason appearance.

Over the offseason, McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history at the age of 30 after leaving the Redskins' offensive coordinator job. He's brought the same offensive firepower from Washington to Los Angeles as the Rams sit tied with the Eagles for first in points per game (30.08).

Sunday's clash with the Eagles at the Memorial Coliseum scripts two of the top teams in the NFC, but McVay is well aware that Los Angeles can quickly turn into a road-game atmosphere for the home team. The Philadelphia faithful showed out against the Los Angeles Chargers earlier in the year – outnumbering the Chargers' fans at StubHub Arena.

When asked if he would practice using the silent count in preparation for the game, McVay didn't rule out the possibility.

"Just looking at it, maybe. Because it was something that we had to explore at the end of the Seattle game," McVay said. "I think with the way that these players have played, we're hoping to get a great crowd to come out and support us and create a great home atmosphere.

"But, yeah if that is something that we anticipate, you bet we'll make sure that we have some contingency plans in place."

The Rams' offense features quarterback Jared Goff, who's having a turnaround sophomore season under McVay after going 0-7 in his starts as a rookie. The second-year slinger ranks in the top 10 in passing yards (3,184) and touchdowns (20) while being the only quarterback in the NFL to have four players with 500 receiving yards or more through 12 games this season.

Running back Todd Gurley rounds out the dynamic offense ranking second among running backs in both rushing yards (939) and rushing touchdowns (8). Still, McVay is preparing for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and the stingy Philadelphia defense.

"They've done a great job. I think one of the things about a Jim Schwartz-led defense, you always see these guys play extremely hard. Great get-off up front, four-man rush, penetrating-type front where they get off and they're aggressive. They've got speed on all three levels. They've got a very clear-cut philosophy."

McVay also offered praise for quarterback Carson Wentz as the game sets up a head-to-head battle between Goff and Wentz, the top two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft.

"He's kind of one of those guys that you look at that demonstrates what it looks like to do things the right way and when your quarterback is that guy, I think it certainly helps," McVay said of Wentz. "He's a smart player, you can just see by the way that he plays the game – he understands what he's seeing from the defenses and how that affects his decision-making and what he's going to do with the football.

"Then, clearly, he's got the talent both with his arm and with his overall athleticism to utilize his legs to beat you. Those are scary things to try to defend and it's why he's been playing at such a high level and why he's a great quarterback."

The Rams sport a 3-2 record against teams .500 or better and are 4-2 at home.

"We're going to always focus on improving week in and week out and that's going to be the same exact thing this week," McVay said. "It's going to be focused on the Eagles and putting together a good game plan in all three phases and try to give our players a chance to go execute at a high level."

Check out all of the photos from Thursday's Eagles practice at Angel Stadium of Anaheim...

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