The Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars squared off in a matchup of two 3-2 teams with the Rams coming out on top. On the backs of two special teams touchdowns and a strong running game, Los Angeles is back in 1st place in the NFC West as the head to London. Here’s a recap of how the five players on both sides fared this past Sunday.
RB Todd Gurley
Todd was able to bounce back after a low volume, low output week against Seattle. His touches went from 16 against the Seahawks to a sweet spot of 24 this week. Gurley rushed 23 times for 116 yards at a 5.0 ypc average that actually felt like a 5.0 ypc. He was just too much for the Jaguars lowly run defense. Gurley and the offense were bottled up through the air but it didn’t matter. A great bounce back game for Gurley.
QB Blake Bortles
In not much of a shocker, Bortles didn’t do anything substantial to win his team the game. But he also didn’t keep the Jaguars from winning either like he has in the past. When the Jaguars rushing game can’t carry them to victory, Bortles just isn’t the type to mount a comeback on his own. Bortles completed 23 of 35 passes for 241 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The Rams were able to sack Bortles five times and put the pressure on him as he threw his interception. He added 19 yards rushing on 2 carries.
SS John Johnson
The very first play of the game for the Rams defense was a bad one for John Johnson. His bad angle in run pursuit led directly to a 75 yard touchdown by Leonard Fournette. Johnson quickly settled back in after that play and went on to have a solid game, building off his good performance last week. Johnson finished the day with 3 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pass breakup.
CB Jalen Ramsey
Nothing from this game has changed my mind that Jalen Ramsey is one of the best CBs in the NFL but the Rams neither avoided him or got burned by him. Ramsey didn’t really shadow Sammy Watkins on the day and was often times lined up across from Robert Woods allowing a couple of completions, one on a big 3rd and 8 late in the 3rd quarter. Ramsey finished with 3 tackles and no passes defensed.
WR Sammy Watkins
Sammy gladly will take a Rams win but if its production and targets he’s after, he can’t be to please after this game. Avoiding Ramsey for the majority of the day, AJ Bouye stepped up instead and helped contain Watkins. Sammy’s first target of the game didn’t need Ramsey or Bouye to stop him as he dropped it all by himself. Jared Goff and McVay dialed up a few deep throws to Watkins but they just couldn’t connect in tight coverage. Watkins finished the games with one catch for 11 yards on 4 targets.
RB Leonard Fournette
After Pharoh Cooper sucked the life out of EverBank Field with his opening kickoff return for a touchdown, Leonard picked them right back up taking the Jaguars first play from scrimmage 75 yards to the house with the help of some bad pursuit angles. Anyone watching the game could tell that Fournette is special, but he wasn’t special enough to carry the Jaguars to victory. Fournette’s next 20 carries totaled 55 yards as he finished with 130 yards on the ground while adding 2 catches for 8 yards. Fournette vs Gurley didn’t disappoint.
TE Tyler Higbee
Well, sometimes you just miss. Higbee and the rest of the Rams TEs never really got involved heavily into the flow of the game from a receiving standpoint. There was one wheel route where Higbee had miles of green ahead of him but Goff just overthrew him, or perhaps thought it was Everett running. However, Higbee was solid in run support and oftentimes was able to win his matchups against Yannick Ngakoue. Higbee finished the game with 0 yards on 1 catch and 3 targets.
LB Telvin Smith
Smith had a very active day against the Rams from start to finish. Smith and his defense continued to allow big chunks of yardage on the ground throughout the day but Smith provided a number of splash plays that the Rams praised Alec Ogletree for. Smith forced the controversial fumble on Robert Woods that was blown dead instead of perhaps being returned for a touchdown by Aaron Colvin. Telvin added 7 more tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hit and 2 TFLs to finish the day.
LB Alec Ogletree
Fresh off a huge contract extension, Ogletree was devoid of the splash plays that his counterpart Telvin Smith provided and continued to miss tackle opportunities near the sideline. But it wasn’t a bad day overall for Ogletree. Although he only registered 4 tackles, he was steadily in the mix in the effort to stop Leonard Fournette after his opening TD. Ogletree finished the day with just those 4 tackles.
DE Yannick Ngakoue
Ngakoue was just one of the four defensive lineman for the Jaguars that were leading the way to their team’s league high 20 sacks heading into the game. While the Rams held Ngakoue to just a handful of pressures his teammates (Calaias Campbell is still very good) were able to sack Goff just 3 times. The Rams offense oftentimes ran the ball successfully right at Ngakoue’s side of the defense which also helped negate the Jags pass rush. Ngakoue finished the game with 1 tackle and 2 QB hits.