The Los Angeles Rams were able to get 33 points on the board against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night in a decisive week 1 victory, yet it still felt like they could have done more. That’s how good this team is.
However, it wasn’t all Gatorade baths and high-fives.
The LA Rams are in search for a kick return specialist
It looks like the Rams have an injury crisis at the kickoff/punt return position with WR Pharoh Cooper headed to IR and a groin/hip issue for WR Mike Thomas, the backup return specialist, for a bit though we’ll need to keep our eyes on the injury report.
So, who is going to return kicks this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals?
Who will handle kickoffs for Rams? The only guys on roster/practice squad who have done it at NFL level are Robert Woods (1, as a rookie in 2013), Brandin Cooks (1 as a rookie in 2014) and Sam Shields (21 as a rookie in 2010).— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) September 12, 2018
It sounds like preseason fan favorite WR Jojo Natson will be called up to take over the kickoff and punt return duties.
The #Rams, who have had a few injuries at the WR position, are signing back WR Jojo Natson, who was with them in camp.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 12, 2018
Rams’ defense made some key adjustments in win against Oakland
CB Aqib Talib went on NFL Total Access and explained that the defense had to freestyle the first half against the unknown Raider’s defense.
Even though they held the Oakland Raiders to 13 points, the defense got dragged a little.
Hey Raiders, remember when Marshawn dragged the entire Rams defense to the end zone? At least you had that.— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) September 11, 2018
At least you had thathttps://t.co/w5wr2VwoTP
The offensive line gets some love
Pro Football Focus ran the numbers and the Rams’ O-line came out on top, save for C John Sullivan — we still love you, big guy.
Updated after Monday Night Football (and with a special teamer added), a look at the PFF Team of the Week. The @RamsNFL offensive line fill four places after a dominant performance.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 11, 2018
(via @PFF_Gordon)https://t.co/um0vDJrRYJ pic.twitter.com/9b0AHcOzD1
This is a huge accomplishment, especially for RG Austin Blythe, who is filling in for starter Jamon Brown — his performance is even starting rumors that he has the starting job going forward. Even everyone’s favorite Canadian TST writer, Sosa, agrees:
Austin Blythe is the man. Dude has looked good for 2 seasons now. If he can string together another really good game next week, I see no reason to go back to Jamon Brown. Brown is a FA in March anyways.— Sosa (@QBsMVP) September 12, 2018
We should have known Blythe was a stud right away - he's from Iowa. https://t.co/jwTUCwWXMy
Jared Goff still needs more snaps to sharpen up his play
TST has been banging the drum to make sure we all understand how unusual it was that the offensive unit didn’t get any snaps in the preseason games. Even though they came away with a Week 1 victory, did they merely dodge a bullet or is their defense that good? And how good is Jared Goff?
Good: Even when Jared Goff plays poorly, he can be carried by his supporting cast, defense and coaching staff.— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) September 11, 2018
Bad: Jared Goff played poorly and needed to be carried by his supporting cast, defense and coaching staff.
There is a lot of “overrated” talk when it comes to Goff. But that comes with the territory with a #1 draft pick. He still has some fans, though.
Sean McVay and his coaches have really made Jared Goff into a top QB when he appeared a potential failure when they took over. Great example of player development and right system for QB.— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) September 11, 2018
The Rams will now host the Arizona Cardinals for week 2
I recently wrote that the Rams shouldn’t overlook the Cards, because they could be sneaky good, especially with superstar RB David Johnson in the backfield. But most folks are still betting that the Rams will crush the red birds.
The @RamsNFL are 12.5-point favorites against the @AZCardinals in week 2 NFL action, but Arizona is 8-1 SU after their last 9 losses.— OddsShark (@OddsShark) September 12, 2018
Can Sam Bradford improve this week and challenge the Rams defense?https://t.co/cI6VjyXWOl
So, those are your storylines for the week. We’ll see you jerks on Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum at 1:05pm. Remember: our colors are blue and white now.