The Rams haven’t played a perfect game in a while, but they’re really hard to beat because they have superstars in all three phases that can will the team to victory when things get a bit sketchy. But it’s not as fun to just give game balls to Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald every week, so let’s see who will get the game balls following the Rams narrow victory over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday:
Los Angeles Rams, RB, Todd Gurley
Most of the time, we picture Todd Gurley graceful gliding through space to find comfortable runways to the end zone. Sunday felt kind of different though, he ran with more physicality. Everything felt downhill for Gurley, and at times the Seahawks were bouncing off him like some big-headed Pop Warner defenders. It almost felt like Jerome Bettis’ rookie year back in 1993, when defenders looked tortured by the jolly bus, clapping and laughing after each collision. Gurley and Bus aren’t the same back at all, but Gurley really beat up the Seahawks this week.
Los Angeles Rams, defensive tackle, Aaron Donald
I was tempted to not honor anyone on defense this week based on general principal, after all, they allowed 273 rushing yards. But when you look back at the game, there are once again images of Aaron Donald flying all over the place, and landing himself 2.5 more sacks. He’s a junk yard dog when it comes to chasing Russell Wilson around, and really seems to enjoy the chase. Sometimes Russ escapes-because he’s Russell Wilson, but the flushings seemed early and often, and are probably a result of the PTSD that Donald has provided over the years. Game ball to Problem 99.
Los Angeles Rams, wide receiver, Brandin Cooks
The stat line read well for The Archer, with 10 catches for 100 yards. It was nice to see Cooks making all types of plays, beyond jet sweeps and deep routes. One catch particularly stood out late in the 3rd quarter, when Jared Goff found Cooks on a 15-yard out-route. Though the pass was on point, the catch was not an easy one, but Cooks contorted and hauled it in. Cooks and Robert Woods will be so very vital to the Rams’ Super Bowl hopes with Cooper Kupp now shelved for the remainder of the season with an ACL.
Los Angeles Rams, edge, Dante Fowler
Fowler may have saved the day for the Rams with his strip sack and recovery against Russell Wilson. Beyond that one remarkable play, there were ups-and-downs and penalties for Fowler, but the Rams pass rush does appear to have an added dimension with him out there. He makes impact plays, and he might just end up being the difference in some playoff games down the line.
Los Angeles Rams, safety, Lamarcus Joyner
Safety John Johnson III has gotten plenty of shine, but we haven’t mentioned Lamarcus Joyner much this season. Maybe it’s just indicative of Seahawks running backs getting beyond the first level of defenders far too often, but Joyner seemed to be around the ball making lots of plays on Sunday. With the exception of a bad angle or two, Joyner had one of his more solid outings as of late.
Los Angeles Rams, wide receiver, Robert Woods
Hey look, it’s Robert Woods curling toward the middle of the field again with nobody near him! Woods is a low-key killer, and if he keeps doing this for another few seasons, he might end up being classified into a genre with guys like Henry Ellard and Isaac Bruce. Blasphemy? Okay, let’s just say his work looks very similar to some of the classics at times. Of course that kind of talk is still premature, but it’s a joy to watch Robert work.
Los Angeles Rams, quarterback, Jared Goff
It’s a good sign that I almost forgot to mention the quarterback. His stat line included 28 of 39 passes completed for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns...and it felt perfectly normal. This is the week that I have finally realized that this is what we should expect moving forward, so it doesn’t feel so noteworthy anymore.
Like Kobe scoring over 30. Like LA weather being in the 70s. Like tacos being delicious.
This is real life.