Let's be blunt. Yesterday wasn't Nick Foles' fault. On the plus side, he's yet to throw an interception.
We'll get to their counterpart in the running game, the O-line, but let's be blunt. For a team that's supposedly built on the back of the running game to post 26 yards on 7 rushes from Tre Mason, 0 yards on a single run from Benny Cunningham and a 40-spot from four rushing plays using Tavon Austin, this is inexcusable. The Rams ran the ball 13 times.
Kenny Britt, Chris Givens, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey combined for 57 yards on 5 catches from 12 targets and one crotch-stuffing TD. Too often, Foles was scanning downfield without a release except for an underneath target. With Brian Quick sidelined for whatever reason, this unit needs to step up big time over the next three weeks.
On one hand, Jared Cook was Nick Foles' most available target with seven opportunities over Benny Cunningham's six (which should tell you something about the offense yesterday). On the other, drops and penalties were something the Rams couldn't afford yesterday.
Yesterday was the real concern going into this season with as much inexperience as the Rams have on the line. There was nothing in the run game and little in the pass game to work with, and when you can't work off your foundation on offense, you can't make any functional adjustments. There's a lot to work on here, and it the Rams have to iron much of it out ASAP.
The pass rush was sufficient, but the run defense was abysmal at all three levels. It starts up front. Washington's O-line handled the Rams front four with relative ease on the ground, opening up their entire offense. Both line's failed yesterday, and that put too much burden on the specialists on both sides of the ball.
Just no. The quantity of stops overshadows where they occurred: far further downfield than they should have. The linebackers couldn't plug the spaces adequately leaving room for Matt Jones and Alfred Morris to ramble through and beyond the Rams' defensive shell.
The best unit on the team yesterday. They kept Pierre Garcon to just 23 yards on six catches, albeit one of them was a costly touchdown on some soft coverage from Janoris Jenkins. Still, everything in front of them was abysmal. And left on an island, they did pretty well. They'll have much harder tests than this ahead, especially when the front seven is performing more capably and opposing passing games are forced to push the ball downfield more.
Special Teams - N/A
If there was every a game in which specials didn't really matter, this was it. P Johnny Hekker was Pro Bowl level. K Greg Zuerlein didn't really have any opportunities. Coverage was fine, but there weren't many risk spots. If you had to give a grade here, it'd have to be a B or higher, but the comparative impact was just so low here, it's not fair to even give them space on the card.
If there were ever a two-game swing indicative of what Rams fans have to digest in the Jeff Fisher era, it's the coaching grades of the last two games. Near perfection in Week 1 followed by an insulting troll job from Jay Gruden and staff in Week 2.
Matt Jones and Alfred Morris combined for 134 rush yards before contact, indicative not just of how poorly the defensive line and linebackers played but also of how perfectly Washington schemed for the Rams' defense. We didn't even run a single play on the Washington side of the 50 until the final series prior to halftime.
Jeff Fisher got schooled.
The offensive line got schooled.
The run defense got schooled.
Here's what a report card looks like when things don't go well. At all.