Things didn’t start out as planned, but once the Rams got their feet under them and the staff made the proper halftime adjustments, the team simply came out with a dominant performance in the second half.
Let’s take a look at who makes the list:
CB Troy Hill
Troy Hill had no impact on the game outside of two bad penalties on special teams. For a guy who finished the season on a very high note, Hill hasn’t done much but disappointed since the preseason. Hopefully he can begin to trend in the right direction again.
OLB Matt Longacre
Longacre did not draw the start as OLB Dominique Easley did - and that did him no favors. Even though Longacre rotated in there often, his impact was extremely limited. Not only that, but Easley performed very well. That should cast lots of doubt moving forward as Easley has earned the right to continue to start.
TE Tyler Higbee
If you thought you were watching the Rams’ 2017 offense, you may as well have. The tight ends registered 0 receptions on the night - actually, they weren’t even targeted once. Though that may have been in the gameplan (probably was), it cant feel good for any buyers on the Rams’ tight end position.
RB Todd Gurley
Gurley — like usual — was a man amongst boys. The first half was awful statistically as he only had four carries and five total touches, but Head Coach Sean McVay made it a point of emphasis to get #30 the ball coming out in the second half and boy did it work. Gurley finished with 20 carries for 108 rushing yards, and three receptions for 39 yards with one receiving touchdown. He looked dominant picking his holes correctly all night.
WR Brandin Cooks
Cooks proved to be a tremendous addition with his display on Monday Night Football. Even though he “only” had five receptions for 87 yards, his impact was very evident. Cooks drew two pass interference calls that totaled somewhere in the 80-100 yard mark. He also routinely beat the Raiders’ DB’s deep. Had QB Jared Goff been a tad more accurate on his deep passes, Cooks might have had two or three deep touchdowns.
This connection has the chance to be something special.
Yup. Every one of them. LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, RG Austin Blythe, and RT Rob Havenstein — take a bow fellas. That was a truly dominant performance. Jared Goff was only sacked one time on the night and that was a play where his awareness of the defender (DE Bruce Irvin) was non-existent, though he also simply held the ball for too long. This offensive line was dominating the Raiders’ defensive line in the run game all night as they moved guys with ease at the point of attack. The pass protection did not falter at all as they gave Goff clean pockets to work from generally all night.
After initially struggling to find a rhythm, the Rams became the team that everyone expected them to be. Get ready for next week with a divisional rival, it’s going to be a battle.