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Los Angeles Rams vs. Houston Texans: Pro Football Focus game notes help explain big Week 10 win

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Here’s how PFF saw yesterday’s 33-7 win.

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams
Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Here are Pro Football Focus’ notes on the Los Angeles Rams’ 33-7 Week 10 win over the Houston Texans.

Give their Rams-specific account a follow on Twitter at @PFF_LARams.

Week 10 Rams Offensive Stats

For much of the season right guard Jamon Brown has been the Rams' lowest graded offensive lineman, but that was not the case in Sunday's game against the Texans when he earned an overall grade of 83.0 with a pass blocking grade of 86.9. Not only was Brown's overall game grade of 83.0 the third highest mark among the league's guards through Sunday's game, but it was his highest grade earned in a single game since Week 3 of the 2015 season, only his third game played in his career. Brown did not allow a single quarterback pressure on 41 pass blocking snaps and has now allowed only one quarterback pressure since Week 6 of the season. Through the first five weeks of the season Brown ranked 51st out of 51 guards in pass blocking efficiency with a 91.8 and had allowed two more quarterback pressures than any other guard, but since Week 6 he ranks first in pass blocking efficiency with a 99.4 and only one pressure allowed on 127 pass blocking snaps. He is the only guard in the league to allow less than two quarterback pressures over that span.

Wide receiver Robert Woods has quickly become one of quarterback Jared Goff's favorite targets, and for good reason. He has been targeted 28 times since Week 6 and has caught 22 of them for 370 yards, four touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeting him, the highest in the league in that span with the next closest receiver yielding a passer rating of 127.3 when targeted. His efforts on Sunday earned him his highest overall game grade since Week 9 of the 2016 season with an 87.5 and the third highest among wide receivers in Week 10 through Sunday's games. Coming into Week 10, Houston's cornerback Johnathan Joseph had allowed only 13 receptions on 25 targets for 213 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 74.3. Woods saw seven targets in Joseph's coverage and caught five of them for 138 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 153.3.

For the 50th time in his career, left tackle Andrew Whitworth had at least 20 pass blocking snaps without allowing a single quarterback pressure, increasing the gap between him and the next closest left tackle, which sits at 35. In fact, he saw the third highest pass blocking snaps among the league's tackles without allowing a quarterback pressure in Week 10 with 41. HIs efforts earned him an overall grade of 83.0, the seventh highest among tackles in Week 10. Whitworth currently has the seventh highest pass blocking efficiency out of 58 qualifying tackles at 97.0, and tied for sixth fewest total quarterback pressures allowed with 11. You'd have to go all the way back to 2011 for the last time a Rams tackle had 11 or fewer total quarterback pressures allowed with at least 150 pass blocking snaps through the first 10 weeks of the season, which was Adam Goldberg who had exactly 11 on 169 pass blocking snap, 130 less than Whitworth.

Running back Todd Gurley has yet again earned himself a game grade above 80.0, this time was his third with an 80.8, quite the turnaround after only grading above 80.0 once in 2016. Gurley was hitting holes and making yards for himself in Sunday's game, where he was able to force three missed tackles in the run game and average 6.2 yards per carry, 0.7 more yards per carry than his previous season high. With his three forced missed tackles in the run game on Sunday, Gurley brings his total since Week 7 to nine, tied for fifth most, and holds the second highest elusive rating among running backs with at least 43 rushing attempts at 58.9. In that same span, Gurley has had four runs of 15 or more yards and has gained 103 yards on those runs for a breakaway percentage of 44.2. Those four runs are tied for second most, while the yards off of those runs rank fifth, and the breakaway percentage is fourth highest. After finishing 2016 with an overall grade of 50.7, Gurley sits as PFF's ninth highest graded running back through 10 weeks at 82.1.

After starting the game a little shaky, quarterback Jared Goff settled down and worked his way towards a game grade of 78.4, the seventh highest grade earned among Week 10 quarterbacks through Sunday's games. Goff attempted three passes of 20 or more yards against the Texans and completed two of them for 124 yards, one touchdown, and his second straight week of a passer rating of 149.3 on passes that travel 20 or more yards in the air. Working off of play action has been one of Goff's biggest weapons in 2017, and Sunday was no different. Goff finished Sunday's game going 7-11 for 202 yards, three touchdowns, and a passer rating of 146.8 (first among Week 10 quarterbacks). For all of the 2017 season, Goff owns the second highest passer rating off of play action with a 131.3 and is averaging the highest yards per attempt with 12.1, almost a full five yards more than his 7.2 yards per attempt without it.

​​Week 10 Rams Defensive Stats

After Sunday's game, interior defender Aaron Donald has now generated eight or more total quarterback pressures in half of his eight games played. His eight quarterback pressures are more than three teams generated as a whole and one more than the Giants and Bills had generated combined. He earned the highest grade among interior defenders for Week 10 games with another elite grade (90.0+) with a 93.7. Donald now holds a tie for most quarterback pressures generated regardless of position with 52 and the second highest pass rush productivity at 15.9. He's tied with Melvin Ingram for the league lead, though Ingram has 55 more pass rushing snaps. No other interior defender has more than 43 quarterback pressures, while Donald is sitting in a tier with players whose position gives them more opportunity to create quarterback pressures. With his out of this world play in eight games, Donald sits as the highest graded player in the entire league with his 97.2, while the next closest player sits at 95.8.

Interior defender Michael Brockers had generated only two quarterback pressures across his last four games, but that was not the case anymore after Sunday's game. He was able to get pressure on the quarterback four times and was also responsible for two defensive stops to earn his first elite grade of the season at 90.3. His grade ranks behind only two other players at his position, with Donald being one of them, but did hold the edge over Donald in run defense, where he graded at 89.1. Brockers hold the third highest run stop percentage among 3-4 defensive ends with his 12.6, while also holding the third highest run defense grade among all interior defenders through 10 weeks of the season with a 91.5. Not only are Brockers' 22 overall defensive stops this year eight more than all of last season, but they are tied for 6th most at his position. It's possible that Brockers is the biggest beneficiary of the new defensive scheme the Rams are running with him playing as a 4-3 defensive end more and having his highest graded season by far. He currently is the 14th highest graded interior defender with his 87.7, with his highest grade coming in 2016 at 82.1.

With edge defender Robert Quinn sitting Week 10 out, rookie Samson Ebukam got to play the most snaps of his career with 22. He was able to generate two quarterback pressures by way of one sack and one quarterback hit. His 78.6 overall grade was the 15th highest mark among edge defenders through Sunday's games, the highest among all Rams edge defenders, and the highest of his young career. Ebukam's two quarterback pressures were tied for third most among all rookie edge defenders in Week 10 and was also only one of three rookies to record a quarterback sack. On his 125 snaps played this season, Ebukam holds an overall grade of 71.4 with an impressive run defense grade of 78.4.

Safety Lamarcus Joyner continued his impressive season even after playing cornerback for the first three years of his career. This time he finished as the sixth highest graded safety with his 85.5 overall grade and continues his consecutive tackle attempts without missing a tackle. Joyner has not missed a single tackle attempt since Week 14 of the 2016 season and is one of only five safeties to have not missed a tackle this season. Of those five safeties, Joyner is the only one to have at least 200 snaps played in both the run game and passing game combined. Joyner's lone target came while covering All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught seven of his other 12 targets. Through his six games played, Joyner sits as PFF's seventh highest graded safety with a grade of 87.6 and holds the eighth highest coverage grade with an 88.3. Quarterbacks have not fared well when throwing into Joyner's coverage in 2017. He has been targeted 14 times this season and has intercepted two of them while defending another for a quarterback rating of 38.1 when throwing into his coverage, sixth lowest among all safeties.

Linebacker Mark Barron added his third interception of the season with the Texans threatening to score and with the defense backed up in their red zone. His three interceptions on the year are now two less than he had in his previous five seasons combined, and he started his career as a safety. Adding two defensive stops to his stat line helped generate an overall game grade of 83.1, 13th highest among linebackers in Week 10. With his two defensive stops on Sunday, Barron brings his season total to 29, which is 10th most among inside linebackers, with 22 of them coming in the run game on 210 run snaps. His 22 in the run game rank seventh among 53 inside linebackers, with the 10th best run stop percentage with a 10.5. Barron is absolutely flourishing in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme he brought with him to Los Angeles, with his 83.0 overall grade through 10 weeks reflecting that, after not grading above 77.8 in any season of his career.