Los Angeles Rams fans are finally feeling the euphoria of a Jared Goff 4th quarter comeback with the world watching and it was spectacular — the highest scoring Monday Night Football game of all time. For a regular season game, it was hard to ask for more. And how about the LA fans? They were loud and fantastic.
So, while you’re finishing off your tequila or whatever you’re taking to calm those beautiful nerves, here are some grades.
Was QB Jared Goff perfect? Did he need his receivers to bail him out at times? Did he struggle with the pressure at times? Yes, yes, and yes (Goff was sacked 5 times and fumbled the ball twice). However, King Goffrey didn’t throw an interception and stepped up enough to play the hero at the end of the game. His final stats were pretty gaudy as well: 31 for 49 with 413 yards and 4 touchdowns. Some fans may want to dock him for the fumbles and some missed throws, but Goff came through and played the hero. A signature win for our system QB.
It’s not that RB Todd Gurley II played poorly, it’s just that the game plan wasn’t asking for his services. Coach McVay saw something on tape that made him feel that the Rams could exploit the Kansas City Chiefs CBs, so that’s what they did. Only 12 carries for Gurley and no TDs in a game where they scored 54 points is pretty astounding. Still though, Gurley and Malcolm Brown were effective in spots, and Gurley did an admirable job as a receiver.
Finally! Both TE Tyler Higbee and TE Gerald Everett showed up and played like studs. I was really impressed by Higbee’s athleticism all night; his 6 catches on 7 targets was clutch and Everett’s two touchdowns were obviously huge for the Rams. This is what we’ve been waiting for all season from both of these guys.
The Rams have an elite wide recovering corps, let’s just get that out right now. With WR Cooper Kupp out for the season, WR Josh Reynolds stepped up and played like he’s been there the entire time. And WR Brandin Cooks had himself a night, even without a TD reception (8 catches for 107 yards). And although WR Robert Woods seemed quiet throughout the night, his presence at the beginning of the game was solid and he continues to provide an excellent source of energy to the Rams’ offense.
This grade may seem harsh, but DE Chris Jones made the Rams’ O Line seem like a lineup of paper bags at times. It wasn’t a disaster, as Goff had time to get off 49 passing attempts, but LT Andrew Whitworth and company weren’t as sharp as they usually are. They just got exposed by a Chiefs defensive front that was playing out of their minds.
If it wasn’t for DL Aaron Donald, things would have ben much more harsh. Donald played lights out, proving that he’s the best player in the NFL and Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers were, well, they were pretty invisible. But the run game was held in check, so that was nice.
Again, one man’s performance lifted up the entire unit; but that’s the way it goes sometimes. LB Samson Ebukam had himself the game of his life, scoring two touchdowns off turnovers. He single-handedly won the game for the Rams.
So, the Rams secondary allowed QB Patrick Mahomes II to throw 6 TDs and pass for 478 yards — pretty rough. But that was the hype on this game. What was the surprise were the three interceptions that came exactly when the Rams desperately needed them. CB Marcus Peters stepped up and played an emotional and solid game. And yes, CB Sam Shields got exposed by WR Tyreek Hill and maybe this grade should be a LOT lower. But you know what? I like how the Rams defensive backs banded together and didn’t give up; that last stand where S Lamarcus Joyner got the INT was so huge that it turned me into a marshmallow. So they get a B — sue me.
Luckily, K Greg Zuerlein’s missed extra point didn’t factor in to the decision of the game, but it was a stressful factor all game. P Johnny Hekker had a nice 68 yard punt, but when you boil it down, the special teams unit won’t be what Rams fans will be talking about tomorrow morning.
Many shots of booze were poured in LA bars during the final minutes of the game due to the fact that the Rams played without any timeouts. This was a criticism of Coach Sean McVay last season and it came roaring back on the Rams’ biggest night of the season. However, the play calling was still brilliant and gave the offense the opportunity to show up like they did.
Can you imagine if this was a Super Bowl game? This game could easily go down as the greatest Monday Night Football game in Rams history.
And the best part? The Los Angeles Rams are 10-1. Which if you’re keeping tracking at home, is a solid A.