Rookie franchise QB Jared Goff managed the offense with aplomb yesterday, finishing 14/32 with 161 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. In fact heading into the Rams final drive of the day, Goff was 11-28 for 88 yards. It was that last drive on which he got most of his work down largely thanks to a 66-yard play to WR Kenny Britt followed by a reconnection between the two for a touchdown.
There’s a reason it’s called “garage time.” Jared Goff was so good when it mattered most, you could trust parking your damn car in there, folks.
Running back and 2015 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Not Just Todd Gurley scrapped his way to a gritty 38 yards on 11 carries yesterday. With the opposing New England Patriots committed to building a wall at the first line of defense and making the Rams pay for it, it was down to NJTG to make the Rams’ rushing attack great again. And boy howdy did he!
Tough to come up with the superlatives for such a humble, reliable group of AFROS. Britt waited until the final seconds to punch the Pats in the mouth with his only two catches of the day. Brian Quick was awesome working beneath the sticks on third down finishing with five catches for 48 yards. WR Pharoh Cooper had an amazing sideline catch for eight yards. And both Bradley Marquez and Mike Thomas were impressive as decoys leaving the Patriots’ defense dumbfounded at times.
Paging Dr. Rosenrosen. Get in here fast, because rookie tight end Tyler Higbee is SICK!
He put up a whopping 16 yards on his two receptions while Lance Kendricks battled through the shiver-inducing cold weather to put up 13 yards of his own on two catches preventing multiple potential interceptions.
New England finished with just four sacks with no defenders accruing more than one. Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? NOT UNDER JEFF FISHER, BABY!
This line constantly gave Goff time to peruse downfield before wisely holding on to the ball and taking the sack instead of wasting it on riskier pass plays. And while the run blocking wasn’t overwhelmingly superior, they really shared the blame. Goes to show the team-first mentality among this group of monster maulers.
The Rams’ impressive front four shredded the Patriots’ offensive line yesterday, though with a humility that really shone as they refused to sack QB Tom Brady even once to let him revel in his record-setting 201st win. That’s called class.
Alec Ogletree and Corey Littleton combined for 21 tackles, mopping up a worthy RB LeGarrette Blount and a passing attack that was spread all over the field. More like Corey Bigton!
When CB E.J. Gaines’ day ended due to injury, the Rams relied on that “next man up” philosophy that has served them so well for years. Cue Michael Jordan’s NFL debut. Jumpman, jumpman, jumpman, jumpman!
K Greg Zuerlein made his lone field goal, but it was just 44 yards. He probably should have scooted back an extra six for style points. And P Johnny Hekker’s eight punts were a little too “look at me.” They’ve set the bar so high, so I think they’ll bounce back from this performance.
It’s hard to put this coaching effort into words after this week. First, there was the masterclass diversion Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher dropped on Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick by suggesting Fisher had no idea who the Patriots’ running backs were. Misdirection at its finest. That subtle ploy worked wonders in forcing Belichick, ever the emotional one, to execute a multi-pronged rushing attack in the first half that saw the Pats’ rushing menage-a-quoi head to the locker room with 114 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. GOOOOOOOOOOOOT EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM.
Then, Fisher shook up the Patriots’ pre-game preparations by leaking word of his two-year contract extension that he had signed “well before” the first preseason game this year. Well, before the Rams even kicked the ball off to start the game, Fisher was already up two scores on Belichick in this mental matchup.
Both have been coaching for 22 seasons, so you wonder if Belichick is going to have enough time left in his tank to catch Fisher in the win-loss column let alone in terms of postseason success having taken a team to the Super Bowl 17 years ago.
Overall, a nice report card to take home! Well deserved!