I would have given this an “A+”, but let me explain. First, starter at QB, Jared Goff was great. He was pinpoint accurate all around, made great decisions, and moved the ball with ease and effectiveness. He gets an A+, but I knock this grade down a bit because Sean Mannion was ineffective for majority of the night.
I’ll hand the RB’s a solid “B”. Starting RB Todd Gurley looked decisive, ran with power and vision, and fought for yardage. He looked like the old Todd Gurley. Backup RB Malcolm Brown only had nine carries for 13 yards, and two catches to boot. He looked strong and tough as well, though he wasn’t very productive. Justin Davis chipped in with five carries for eight yards.
The wideouts had a game to remember, specifically rookie WR Cooper Kupp. He finished with six catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. He almost had another touchdown but was stopped at the one yard line. Mike Thomas and Pharoh Cooper were productive and tough across the middle. Rookie WR Josh Reynolds pulled down an impressive 20-yard touchdown, and Sammy Watkins reeled in his first Ram reception.
Every @CooperKupp reception from #LAvsOAK! pic.twitter.com/dJPf5UI2ZB— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 20, 2017
August 20, 2017
Nothing too crazy from the TE’s. Rookie TE Gerald Everett looked great, specifically scooping up more RAC on short passes and catching most of the balls that came his way. Starting TE Tyler Higbee also had a 12-yard reception.
@lightningstrk12 pic.twitter.com/spCn5qJ1R8— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 20, 2017
The starting offensive line looked very good all night. Jared Goff typically had great protection all night (sans one play where Higbee and Everett tried to block Khalil Mack), and even opened plenty of space for Todd Gurley. The backup offensive line was average all the way around, with Jake Eldrenkamp and Austin Blythe showing some real prowess in the running game.
The main standout in this group was NT Mike Purcell. He was super effective in his main role of plugging gaps and stopping the run, he also had a big TFL that looked Aaron Donald-like. Morgan Fox also showed plenty of athleticism, and rookie Tanzel Smart nearly piled up another sack.
There wasn’t much of a standout in this group. Alec Ogletree and Cory Littleton started at ILB with the first-team defense, and Bryce Hager, Kevin Davis, and Josh Forrest all got time at ILB. In terms of pass rushers, Matt Longacre once again stood out. Carlos Thompson picked up an injury, and it looked serious. Best wishes Carlos, lets hope for a speedy recovery!
Starting number one CB Trumaine Johnson pulled down an impressive INT in which he bated Derek Carr into throwing it. Troy Hill once again got embarrassed, and did not look good. Nickel CB Blake Countess had a few impressive plays, and was ranked as PFF’s top performer of the game. Cody Davis and Isaiah Johnson both stood out from the Safety position as well.
No missed extra points, no missed field goals, only a terrible 15-yard punt from Travis Coons (who for the record is a Kicker) brings this grade down.
Coaching gets an A+ from me. Last week the Rams fumbled anywhere from 5-7 times depending on who you ask, and this week? None. Also, the offense was clicking early and often, and the second and third team defenders were nifty and tough all night. The coaches get a hat tip from me!