Samson Ebukam, edge
Monday Night marked the arrival of Rams edge Samson Ebukam. Ebukam, no matter how media-members butcher the pronunciation, has finally become a household name. Who would’ve thought Ebukam would outscore NFL points-leader Todd Gurley under the bright lights, but that’s what happened. Two touchdowns for Ebukam made victory possible for the Rams, in their possible Super Bowl preview with the Kansas City Chiefs. Samson’s first touchdown was easy enough when just before the half he scooped up a Mahomes’ fumble and cruised to an easy six. A quarter later he batted and collected a Mahomes’ pass and then then took it to the house, dragging Tyreek Hill and Mahomes in the process.
Of course, Ebukam wasn’t done.
Later in the game he was able to get to Mahomes as the quarterback was looking to pass to receiver Chris Conely down field in the waning moments of the game. Consequently the pass floated into the hands of teammate Marcus Peters to help inch the Rams across the finish line in a thriller.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of big things for Samson Ebukam.
Rams second-year linebacker Samson Ebukam is the first player with a sack, interception and multiple touchdowns in a single game since sacks became official in 1982.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 20, 2018
Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett, TE
With Cooper Kupp gone for the remainder of the season, Jared Goff has found some new tools in the cupboard, and two of them are the Rams tight end duo of Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. Everett and Higbee combined for 9 catches for 112 yards, and Everett scored two touchdowns, including a 40-yarder down the sideline to put away the Chiefs late in the game. Higbee was sure-handed and had to contort and do some foot-dragging to extend a critical fourth quarter drive. Sean McVay is no stranger to utilizing tight ends, that was a staple of his offense during his time with the Redskins. We’ll see if the Rams can keep feeding the big guys after the bye week.
Aaron Donald, DT
In the battle of unstoppable offenses, stops, though few and far between, can decide outcomes. You need game changing plays on defense. Aaron Donald had two strip sacks against the Chiefs, both recovered by the Rams, one for a touchdown. No matter how many lineman, no matter how much of a size advantage they have, the NFL’s sack leader always finds his way home.
Aaron Donald is legend.
We’re gonna talk about Aaron Donald in the conversation with the greatest football players ever— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) November 20, 2018
Josh Reynolds, WR
Just like the tight ends, Josh Reynolds is helping the Rams absorb the loss of Cooper Kupp. His 6 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown were a great sign for the Rams. Then there was the potential game ending interception that Orlando Scandrick nearly pulled down at the end of the game, but Reynolds thankfully broke up the play and the Rams lived on.
40 points on offense says that the Rams offense might just keep on chugging, thanks to guys like Reynolds stepping up.
Johnny Hekker, P
Boy did Johnny Hekker bail the Rams out with a 68-yard punt at the end of the game, to greatly increase the incline of the hill that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs would have to climb in order to pull out the game.
It hasn’t been Johnny’s most dominant season so far, but he’s come through big more than once when the Rams really needed him.
Jared Goff, QB
Gofftafari out-cooled the gunslinger from Kansas City, throwing no picks while Patrick Mahomes tossed three. Goff isn’t a highlight reel guy, he’s a calculated surgeon. Whatever brand-name folks want to buzz about in a given season, it seems like Goff will be in the mix, humming balls up and down the field, for a while.
413 yards for 4 touchdowns without an interception gets you a game ball.
Marcus Peters, CB
With the Rams shifting to more zone, Peters looked more comfortable, albeit on a night when the Rams surrendered 44 offensive points. Granted, Kansas City burner Tyreek Hill was generally being guarded by Sam Shields or Troy Hill, but Peters certainly stepped up on Travis Kelce at times and eventually got a huge interception at the end of the game when Samson Ebukam forced Patrick Mahomes to loft a floater toward Chris Conley in vain. Peters has taken plenty of heat lately, but he’s really competing out there, trying to make it right.