Ten observations from Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings in Week 4.
But first, the snap count distributions.
- Marcus Peters had a brutal game. When Peters’ gambling goes well, it results in the spectacular pick six and celebration against the Raiders in Week One. When it goes poorly, you get the kind performance we saw from him on Sunday. Peters was caught looking into the backfield - twice - and was torched for 39-yard and 30-yard touchdowns. He doesn’t look 100 percent healthy through no fault of his own, but he also has to be more disciplined when facing speedy wideouts.
- The run defense also had a rough day. Coming into the day, Los Angeles had held opposing rushers to under 100 yards in three of four games to start the season. Then came the tandem of Chris Carson and Mike Davis, who chewed up the Rams’ front seven for 184 total yards. More concerning, the duo gained a combined 114 yards rushing directly up the middle at Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald.
- When it really mattered, the defense came through. Despite Peters’ and the front seven’s struggles to contain the run, the defense showed up in crunch time. They held Seattle to only 58 yards and 0-for-2 on third down in the fourth quarter.
- Wide receiver injuries. Concussions assessed to Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks left the Rams in a bind, forcing Josh Reynolds and KhaDarel Hodge into duty for a combined 63 snaps. Losing both is obviously problematic, but Kupp had been producing a 144.3 passer rating when targeted, so the Rams will miss him if he’s out for an extended period of time.
- A tale of two Goffs. Despite his overall gigantic step forward this season and MVP candidacy through five weeks, Jared Goff has been uneven in the red zone. He’s second in the league in touchdown passes inside the 10, but also leads the league with two interceptions.
- Robert Woods is incredible. After Kupp and Cooks went down, the Seahawks defense shifted considerable attention to Woods, who moved over to fill Kupp’s role. Still, he shouldered all 66 offensive snaps, caught five of his seven targets for 92 yards and added two rushing attempts for 53 yards.
- Mark Barron is back. Barron didn’t ease back into his role after stepping onto the field for the first time in eight months, playing 48 snaps or 80 percent of the defensive total. He also led Los Angeles with a combined nine tackles.
- Tight ends still pedestrian. Even with an expanded role after Kupp and Cooks’ injuries, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett caught only a combined three passes for 35 yards. Higbee played 53 snaps or 80 percent of the offensive total.
- Troy Hill’s solid outing. Hill got the start against Seattle and racked up five tackles and a deflected pass. He also outsnapped Sam Shields 50 snaps to 10.
- Two sacks for the stars. Donald and Suh picked up a pair of quarterback takedowns to bring their combined season total to six, but the Rams edge rushers are still struggling. Combined, the rest of the team has four sacks.