In week eight of the 2020 NFL season, there will be a potential wide receiver battle that pits experience against youthfulness. 

The Miami Dolphins’ Preston Williams and the Los Angeles Rams’ Robert Woods will go head-to-head as both teams look to gain momentum going into the second half of the season.

Williams Looking For More Playing Time

Williams is entering his second season in the NFL. In his rookie season he was actually used as Miami’s second receiving option. He appeared in eight games and started in seven of them before landing on injured reserve with a torn ACL. In his shortened season Williams was on the receiving end of 32 passes for 428 yards, good for an average of 13.4 yards per catch. Being that it was his rookie year, Williams was able to come in and show his team along with the rest of the league what he is capable of doing on the field if given more playing time.

Veteran Woods Has 1,000-yard Season, But Could Use More TDs

Woods on the other hand will be entering his eighth season. The experience he’s bringing into the matchup could prove to pay dividends for his possible performance. He was one of the primary focal points in the Rams’ offense despite his slow start to securing TDs. Woods appeared and started in 15 games, good for catching 90 balls. He had a 1,000-yard season, reeling in 1,134 yards and two scores. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch, so if anything, he will look to be more involved in short-yardage situations in 2020. 

Dolphins, Rams Have Different Tasks in Respective Divisions

The Dolphins are in a good position moving forward in the AFC East. With the New England Patriots not going to be as dominant as they were for years with quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, Miami has the opportunity to make a stand in the division and perhaps become a playoff contender. 

The Rams on the other hand had a pretty strong season in terms of the win-loss column. Competing in the NFC West, L.A. has to deal with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams finished the season 9-7, pointing to a heavily completed team as a unit. 

L.A. Needs Woods’ Leadership

Woods has proven to be a lethal weapon for the Rams based on his stats in 2019 alone, and even with downed end zone balls, still has the ability to go up in numbers in all categories in the seasons ahead. He brings leadership and veteran experience to the Rams that can provide promise and stability as each season passes. L.A. may even look to lean on him more now with the departure of WR Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans. 

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Williams: A Lethal Weapon?

Comparing the roles that both players bring to their teams, one stands out on the possibility of improvement. Williams has room for the most improvement between the two receivers because he has the opportunity to prove to be another lethal receiver alongside fellow teammate DeVante Parker. The team is looking for offensive pieces and the opportunity of a 1-2 punch has to be obvious. Williams can grow into that weapon with more and more playing time. He has shown he has talent, and wasn’t involved in any off-field issues last year for the first time in a long time, so he just needs to continue to work in practice and training to wind up earning more playing time.

Hey Jared, Do You Even See Me?

Woods having that veteran experience receivers covet to have appears to not have as many improvements that he has to make. Woods has not caught as many TDs on the receiving end recently, so surely one of his main goals is to get on a better page with QB Jared Goff

Woods Should Have Better Day, But Williams Could Surprise

Comparing the two receivers going into the matchup, Woods will have the opportunity to expose the young Dolphins defense. In fact, because Miami’s defense will have problems with defending Woods, he will end up having the better performance between the two receivers.

Williams on the other hand will look to have the first seven weeks to gain some momentum going into the week eight matchup. Will it be a runaway matchup for Woods? Yes, because Parker will be more of the focal point on the receiving end in that matchup, while Williams can only hope the defense leaves him open on double coverages. Williams however does have the opportunity to surprise everyone and put on a show against L.A., but it will likely come with in-game adjustments — something Miami will be hoping to see develop with him as well. 

– Daniel Roberts is a Sports Contributor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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