Uhmmm, holy crap?!
In what turned out to be one of the greatest football games ever played, none of the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, or Monday Night Football failed us yesterday. The game ultimately turned out to be a 54-51 Rams win. Anytime a team can both score 50 and allow 50 points, there’s bound to be players on both sides of the spectrum.
Let’s take a look at the stock report:
CB Sam Shields
Before we even start here, I felt bad for Shields. Being the fastest CB on the roster, Shields was the automatic choice to try and cover WR Tyreek Hill last night. It did not go well at all. Hill registered 10 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns. To be fair to Shields, one of those touchdowns was a long catch on a play where Shields slipped leaving Hill absolutely wide open. Shields struggled, but there isn’t a cornerback in the league who can hang with Hill.
ILB Cory Littleton
Littleton struggled pretty badly in this one. A handful of missed tackles and blown assignments in coverage later, and you begin to wonder if a inside linebacker pairing of Littleton and Mark Barron can work.
OLB Dante Fowler Jr
In a game where both teams were happy to have their QB’s sit back and sling it, Fowler was again invisible. Not only that, but he notched himself another inexcusable penalty though this time it was only an offsides call. The Rams surely wanted more of an impact from the trade deadline acquisition.
DT Ndamukong Suh
Suh was a step slow on every instance last night. The Rams invested a lot into him and you wouldn’t have known if you only watched last nights game. They need more of an impact from some of their best players not named Aaron Donald.
It was tough to put these guys here because it was a tale of two halves for the five upfront. In the first half their protection was pristine and QB Jared Goff had all day to operate. The second half there were plenty of broken pockets, sacks, missed assignments, and killed drives because of it. To be fair to them, the Chiefs’ defensive line is an absolute handful and were bound to win a few of their own reps.
OLB Samson Ebukam
Man oh man was this a coming out party or what? Ebukam played like a man possessed last night registering three tackles, one sack, one TFL, one interception, one fumble recovery, and two defensive touchdowns. Not only that, but his pass rushing prowess was evident on multiple occasions at the end of the game with hurries and QB hits that led to interceptions from Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner. Unreal. If Ebukam is finally starting to turn the corner, this Rams’ defensive line could be scary.
WR Josh Reynolds
The Rams needed JRey to step up in the absence of WR Cooper Kupp and last night he did just that. Reynolds had six receptions for 80 yards with a touchdown though his impact was so much greater. Reynolds had another touchdown where his foot barely touched the white line ruling him out of bounds. Not only that, but in the game winning drive, Jared Goff nearly threw an interception to CB Orlando Scandrick though Reynolds did his best cornerback impression and ripped the ball out giving the Rams another chance. That chance lead to the game winning touchdown.
TE’s Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee
It’s time. The time has finally come for the Rams to ensure the tight ends are included in the offense. On seven targets, Higbee pulled down six receptions for 63 yards. Everett himself had four targets though he absolutely erupted for three receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns - one being the game winner. These two are starting to become more involved and are proving to be impact players every chance they get.
DT Aaron Donald
Forget the Defensive Player of the Year award. Is it time to start talking about AD as a potential Most Valuable Player candidate? The man simply cannot be contained. In a more “quiet” game, AD registered two sacks which both turned out to be strip-sacks and recoveries for the Rams. Donald is now up to 14.5 sacks on the season and looks primed to beat the defensive tackle single-season sack record of 18 sacks.
CB Marcus Peters
The Marcus Peters revenge game went pretty well if you ask me. Peters wasn’t tasked with covering Tyreek Hill so his assignment was easier at times, but he spent a lot of time in man coverage going against TE Travis Kelce and was relatively solid in that regard. The biggest play I can recall Peters surrendering was a play where he slipped (or a Kelce push) that resulted in a large gain. Peters also pulled himself an interception in the win.
WR’s Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks
Robert Woods came out hot on the first drive drawing three flags and scoring the games opening touchdown. He ended the game with four receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Cooks came in swinging too registering eight receptions for 107 yards. Cooks was tremendous in his own right though the only blunder in the game for him came on the perfect deep pass which Goff dropped in his bucket for a 50-yard touchdown which was knocked out by CB Steven Nelson. These two are going to be counted on heavily without Cooper Kupp and have proved to be up to the task so far.