Ten observations from Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos in Week 6.
But first, the snap count distributions.
- Des(Troy)ed. Troy Hill had an, ahem, bad day and Aqib Talib can’t get healthy fast enough. Hill was credited with giving up 40 yard or more receptions not one, not two, but three times against Courtland Sutton, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, according to PFF.
- Todd Gurley runs wild. Pick an achievement, any achievement. Gurley had a career-high 208 rushing yards, had the Rams’ first 200 yard rushing game since 2001, has 11 touchdowns this season, the most through six games since Shaun Alexander had 12 in 2005 for the Seahawks, and is on pace for an absurd 2,320 yards from scrimmage and 29 touchdowns.
- Sack lunch. A normally stout Rams offensive line struggled mightily Sunday, surrendering five sacks and a handful to rookie Bradley Chubb. The last time Jared Goff was sacked more than three times: Nov. 27, 2017 against New Orleans.
- “Big Game” Bob Woods. Robert Woods played an absolutely pivotal role Sunday against a strong Broncos defensive plan. Denver sat back deep to take away Goff’s deep play action reads and limited Brandin Cooks. Further hampered by Cooper Kupp’s injury, Woods picked up the slack, playing 72 snaps with seven catches for 109 yards to go with one carry for 12 yards. Woods is now the first Rams receiver with 80+ receiving yards in five straight games within a season was since Isaac Bruce had seven in a row in 2000, per Rams announcer J.B. Long.
- Quiet Goff. With Gurley shouldering the offense, Jared Goff completed only 14 passes, the first time since Dec. 17, 2017 he completed less than 15 passes when the Rams beat the Seahawks 42-7.
- Who fills Kupp’s role? With the announcement of an MCL sprain for Goff’s favorite target, someone has to pick up the slack, but none asserted themselves against Denver. Gerald Everett caught two passes for 24 yards in 21 snaps, Tyler Higbee was shutout of the passing game in 55 snaps and Josh Reynolds saw a pass ricochet off his helmet for an interception in 46 snaps.
- Cory Littleton should be a Pro Bowler. Littleton, again, played 100 percent of the Rams defensive snaps, had five tackles and had a great tip to John Johnson for an interception. He also pitched in six special teams snaps and is fourth in the NFL in passes defended with eight - only one behind cornerbacks, that’s right, cornerbacks - Jalen Mills, Morris Claiborne and Ronald Darby.
- Rejoyn the pass rush party. Lamarcus Joyner had his first sack in almost two years with a second quarter takedown of Case Keenum. Joyner last had a sack in November 2016 when he still played cornerback.
- Run defense steps up. After an embarrassing outing against Seattle, Los Angeles’ run defense was stout. Royce Freeman and Philip Lindsay were each held below 25 yards while Denver finished with 60 yards total on the ground.
- Johnny Hekker with the sideline snag. Hekker hasn’t had to punt a whole lot this season, so why not make a ridiculous catch now and again.