After a nerve wracking first half in Oakland, the Rams settled in to handle business in the second half with a strong, multi-faceted team effort. Here are just a few of the contributors that deserved some shine.
And the game ball goes to...
G Austin Blythe
Filling in for Jamon Brown, Blythe could’ve been a leaky valve in the Rams’ normally stable offensive line. Instead, he fit right in, and even got out ahead of a few plays; notably Todd Gurley’s 19 yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter. With Jamon Brown becoming a free agent after this season, having Blythe will be a luxury if he can keep it rolling like he did in Oakland.
RB Todd Gurley/ WR Brandin Cooks
Their skill sets are going to be very complimentry of each other, and last night we got our first glimpse of that. Cooks’ big plays were the result of pass interferences calls, but the Rams let the world know that they are willing to find him behind the defense often, which is really going to make it difficult to key in on Gurley.
Gurley looked fresh, as he should have, having sat out the entire preseason and most of the first half. Whether it is on the ground or through the air, Gurley clearly unlocked the offense in the second half.
DL Michael Brockers
While statistically Donald and Suh’s work was mostly done under the radar, we got to see how they help free up guys like Michael Brockers, as well as Jonathan Franklin-Myers. Brockers looked athletic and ready to capitalize on having a tad more space to operate this season.
P Johnny Hekker
62 yard punts are kicked with gameballs.
That was some fine work in the thick night air of the East Bay Johnny!
ILB Cory Littleton
Game one of the Littleton experiment was mostly a success. 13 tackles and an interception is a good start. He did miss a tackle on Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch in the second half, but Marshawn isn’t the easiest guy to take down either. It seems like Littleton will be a nice piece next to Mark Barron in the near future.
S John Johnson III
This one’s kind of a funny selection, because he was picking up Jared Cook for much of the night, and Cook had a monster night. But Johnson also made plays, and battled with the much larger Cook. Johnson looked pretty physical, and should fair well in more favorable match-ups. Plus he hauled in a nice end zone pick to go with his nine tackles.