Week seven has come and gone with the Los Angeles Rams reeling off another impressive win with contributions coming from all three phases.
Coming off an impressive performance all around, this weeks stock report will prove to be a place for many Rams defenders.
Let’s take a look:
OLB Matt Longacre
Somehow every week Longacre finds a new way to be invisible. Now, understandably, he is coming off a back tweak from the week prior, but more was expected from the edge rushers with the interior trio that the Rams’ defensive line is working with. It seems at this point the defense doesn’t have many better options (Ogbo?) so Longacre will continue to get a lion share of snaps even though he hasn’t earned it.
Tight end position
The tight ends were targeted a total of three times in the game coming down with one reception for -5 yards. As great as the offense is, the TE position is absolutely irrelevant in the passing game. It doesn’t seem like things are going to change much moving forward.
DT Aaron Donald
Donald is not the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s not the best defensive lineman in the NFL. He’s not the best defender in the NFL. He’s the best PLAYER in the NFL. That’s correct. Regardless of position, this man has proven time and time again that nothing will stop him from wreaking havoc on opponents. Donald had a downright legendary performance on Sunday with eight tackles, one assisted tackle, four sacks, six tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. The man got paid and somehow is better than ever. Here’s something fun and interesting I tweeted yesterday:
Here are Aaron Donald's sacks through his first seven games each year in his career:— Sosa (@QBsMVP) October 22, 2018
2014: 2 sacks
2015: 4.5 sacks
2016: 3 sacks
2017: 4 sacks
2018: 8 sacks
Somehow, someway, the best continues to get better. You're watching greatness move.
SS John Johnson III
Johnson quietly continues to be the most impressive playmaker in the secondary. With another interception (and a tremendous one at that) in consecutive weeks, JJ3 is now up to three INT’s on the season with another turnover coming by way of forced fumble. As a capable run stuffer and a clear threat in coverage, JJ3 has proven to be a major piece of the secondary and a guy the Rams clearly feel comfortable handing a large responsibility in man coverage every game.
ILB Cory Littleton
I’m not even sure where to find the stats on blocked punts, but Littleton has to be up there among the greatest punt blockers in NFL history. Not only that, but his blocked punt lead directly to a safety and another possession for the explosive offense. The cherry on top was his 10-tackle and two-sack performance on the defensive side of the ball. Brilliant performance.
RB Todd Gurley
Even though Gurley didn’t have a massive game on the ground, he continues to dial up the touchdown counter. Gurley’s day consisted of 15 rushing attempts for 63 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He also chipped in with four receptions for 23 yards and another touchdown. Gurley now has 14 TD’s in seven games tying a record for most TD’s through seven games of a season with Priest Holmes who did it in 2002 and 2004. Not only that, but Gurley is on pace for 32 touchdowns on the season. That’d break the NFL record set by Ladainian Tomlinson of 31 total touchdowns in a season in 2006.
CB Troy Hill
This is pretty much exactly what Rams fans needed to see from Hill after a rough performance in Denver. Hill bounced back in a big way as he may not have even surrendered a catch on the day (if I remember correctly). Not only that, but Hill had one hell of an interception.
This win was more than just another impressive divisional win. It was a big rebound performance (the second in as many weeks) for the defensive side of the ball.
The Rams now head home 7-0 and prepare to face off against the Green Bay Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers.