While the game appeared to be lopsided live, it never hurts to have an additional source. Pro Football Focus graded the Rams’ Week 1 performance, and here are the big takeaways.
TOP 5 GRADES:
DB Lamarcus Joyner, 93.1 overall grade
CB Trumaine Johnson, 89.8 overall grade
T Rob Havenstein, 81.4 overall grade
EDGE Ethan Westbrooks, 81.0 overall grade
G Jamon Brown, 80.8 overall grade
The Rams defense didn’t miss a beat with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips behind the reins. The secondary played lights out, and the defensive line was able to get pressure all day. What is interesting is seeing the right side of the offensive line being the stars of the day when it was assumed that it would be the left side that would be the most dominating.
QB JARED GOFF, 80.7 OVERALL GRADE
This was as good as Goff has looked in the pros. You can debate how easy the Colts made it for him but there’s no doubt he looked more comfortable than at any point in his rookie year. He spread the ball out to what suddenly looks an exciting trio of receivers and showed a willingness to work it downfield with eight attempts over 10 yards in the air, going four-of-five on his deep ball attempts.
Goff actually looked like an NFL quarterback. Granted the Colts defense isn’t as imposing as the Seattle Seahawks or Arizona Cardinals, but it was nice to see the offense move the ball consistently. Goff is starting to look comfortable, and it’s going to be very interesting to watch his progression especially after he began on such a high note. This also game marked his first game passing for more than 300 yards.
DB LAMARCUS JOYNER, 93.1 OVERALL GRADE
Joyner had a stellar outing against Colts’ backup QB Scott Tolzien. Joyner was targeted four times in coverage, and he came away with an interception returned for a touchdown, a pass breakup, and allowed just one catch for a measly three yards.
Last season, Joyner proved that he was a top slot corner in the NFL. So it was strange to imagine the Rams switching him to safety, a position that he was excited to play. If he keeps playing like he did on Sunday, fans will be excited
WR COOPER KUPP, 75.8 OVERALL GRADE
It could have been a better day for Kupp, who dropped a gimme and then got flagged in a bad series for him. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact he was the most targeted receiver by Goff and got down the field for two deep ball grabs. To say he hit the ground running would be something of an understatement and the Colts had a tough time getting close to this savvy route runner. 3.17 yards per route run currently leads all rookies and is fifth most of all receivers for the week.
All the hype surrounding Kupp during the NFL Draft and preseason wouldn’t disrupt his transition to the pros. Kupp plays like a veteran on the field adjusting his routes and making big plays when the ball is in the air. The Rams have needed a wide receiver for years and although they have addressed the situation with big time veterans - Kupp has shown the poise and big play ability to be a starter for the Rams for years to come.