Jared Goff didn’t push the ball much downfield, though he didn’t really need to. I give him a “B-” because he didn’t really do anything crazy. Goff had two touchdowns (both of which were short passes), and was 1-yard short of cracking the 200-yard mark. Unfortunately for the offense, they just didn’t run enough plays to give Goff and the passing game a chance to build some drives. Goff had two throws which both should have been intercepted by Eagles LB Nigel Bradham, which turned out to be pure drops. Also, the final sack-fumble turned out to be quite costly.
Todd Gurley is incredible. Facing the best run defense in the entire league, Todd Gurley routinely gashed the Eagles defense for huge runs. He was one defender away from breaking multiple long touchdowns. Gurley only received 13-carries because of the lack of offensive plays, yet he still had 96-yards rushing for two touchdowns, and an average of 7.4 YPC. This offense runs through Todd Gurley, if you didn’t already know.
As referenced earlier, the passing game didn’t do too much, which can be attributed to a very strong run game, but also a lack of offensive plays. Now, rookie Cooper Kupp had a 5-118-1 line, collecting his second 100-yard receiving game in the past three weeks. Sammy Watkins scored a 1-yard touchdown, but outside of that was fairly invisible. Todd Gurley, as always, chipped in with three receptions for 39-yards.
For what seems to be a consistent theme at this point, the Rams TE’s were a complete non-factor in the passing game, with only one reception for 6-yards from Gerald Everett. The TE’s did have a good day in terms of run blocking, though.
First, this unit lost two players at different points in the game to ankle injuries (Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein). Both actually returned, but one of the injuries turned out to be the death blow for the Rams in the game. Once Rob Havenstein was hurt, backup OT Darrell Williams got beat on a play action pass that allowed former Rams DE Chris Long to get a strip-sack on Jared Goff, which led directly to the Rams loss. Still, this OL did an amazing job in the running game (shoutout to Rodger Saffold), and only allowed two sacks with two major injuries.
Outside of one single sack by DE Michael Brockers, this unit was fairly quiet. Aaron Donald had a few hits and hurries, but nothing really materialized for him. They didn’t do a terrible job though, as they held the Eagles running game in check allowing 4.3 YPC , and ultimately gave the offense a chance to win the game.
The linebackers were the Rams biggest weakness on the defense during Sunday’s game. ILB’s Mark Barron and Alec Ogletree missed multiple tackles each, and the Eagles gameplan was to clearly target and exploit them. Ogletree was involved in allowing two receiving touchdowns. As for the OLB’s, they weren’t very relevant either, as Robert Quinn registered one sack, and the rest of the group did nothing. There were multiple pressures from the LB group where they couldn’t convert, and Samson Ebukam had two flags (one of which was tacky) that were a big problem for the Rams.
Free agent addition Kayvon Webster was the brightest defender on the back end on Sunday, picking off Carson Wentz on the first drive, though he unfortunately ruptured his achilles and will miss the rest of the season. Trumaine Johnson lands on both sides of the spectrum. In terms of coverage and performance? He was great, he stuck with Alshon all day and routinely broke up passes in coverage. Unfortunately, he also had a long pass interference penalty and boneheaded taunting penalty that extended two drives for the Eagles, and ultimately led to two touchdowns. Nickell Robey-Coleman was brilliant, and his tackling technique was superb. On the backend, rookie SS John Johnson III was definitely picked on by Carson Wentz, being in on two of the touchdowns scored by the Eagles.
Johnny Hekker boomed multiple huge punts, averaging 50.2-yards per punt, with a long of 64. Greg Zuerlein was perfect on the day on XP’s, though he attempted no FG’s. Lastly, the punt team (Mike Thomas) blocked a punt which was scooped and scored by CB Blake Countess.
This is a strange grade for a few reasons. The Rams scored 35 points, that needs to be good enough to win a game. I think the terrible play call that led to a strip-sack on a backup RT falls completely all on Sean McVay, and he needs to do a much better job of sticking to the running game. Wade Phillips’ defense did not perform very well, allowing far too many 3rd down conversions and way too many points. ST’s coach John Fassel proves, that once again, he is the best ST coach in all of football.