I thought QB Nick Foles had a decent game all things considered. He was smart in throwing the ball away a couple of times when there was nothing readily available and was relatively efficient otherwise. The drops certainly hurt his general production as did routes short of the 1st down marker and the lack of a run game. Another half dozen opportunities and some drops made into catches would've put some gloss on this one. Of course the one mistake he did make was a major one. Pressure does that sometimes.
Just Todd Gurley's debut was anything but memorable. How much can one running back improve this team in 2015?
WR - /
Kind of unfair to lump in Kenny Britt into the rest of the group after yesterday. He was everything Brian Quick was supposed to be and the only useful weapon for most of the game. Tavon Austin had five catches for less than 40 yards. Chris Givens and Stedman Bailey didn't get a single target.
Lance Kendricks and Jared Cook. Yall already know.
I'm inclined to give them a passing grade on the quality of their pass protection which was certainly adequate, but this is supposed to be a running team. This is supposed to be a team that leans on the ground game to open up the entire offense. Through three weeks as a whole but also yesterday specifically, they've been abhorrent in run blocking. So this one's on degree of importance. The reason the Rams couldn't sustain drives and finished with just 6 points was largely down to the run game which hinges on the blocking. Fail.
The strength of the team came through yet again after a down game against Washington. Aaron Donald was a force. Robert Quinn is always a threat off the edge. Michael Brockers has no excuses to not gap fill in the run game with aplomb. If this team could win more games, they'd be superstars in their own right.
Much like the line, the linebackers improved after the Washington rushing debacle. Bear in mind, the space that's available underneath the linebackers in the passing game is by design. You can't discredit them for allowing it.
Again, they give you what they give you on purpose. They did a fine job protecting the sidelines and negating the deep ball, and that's their role. Dropped interceptions don't help, but these guys aren't wide receivers for a reason.
Special Teams -
The Rams suffer from a degree of talent here much like the defensive line. The expectations are, deservedly, so high that even a game like yesterday with a few minor mistakes should be seen as a less than stellar showing. Throw in a lack of Greg Zuerlein 50-yard plus attempts, and we can get more out of specials than we did yesterday.
We can say that it's not up to Jeff Fisher and company to catch the throws or make the tackles or what not when it's on execution, but how often do we say that about the guys handpicked to be here? Sure, Lance Kendricks dropped key passes and Jared Cook was bad Jared Cook yesterday. But those are tight ends that the Rams re-signed and signed in free agency. Those are the guys Fisher and TE Coach Rob Boras specifically wanted. They coached them up for those moments, and in those moments, they failed. And more than just the tight ends failed. And more than just yesterday.
We're in year four of the Jeff Fisher era. We've seen too many games like this where the defense does well more than its share and the offense is just abysmal. The problem isn't just the players. It's the setup too.