In what felt like a dominating performance from start-to-end, the Los Angeles Rams have clinched their ticket to the NFC Championship game with a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
The Rams controlled the game on both sides of the ball, ultimately winning 30-22 though the game felt like it had a much wider scoring gap. Prevent defense was the result of the game becoming a one score game.
Let’s take a look at the stock report:
CB Marcus Peters
Marcus Peters had a game to forget on Saturday night. It started with a dumb penalty that resulted in a free 15-yards for the Cowboys (which lead to a touchdown on the next play). It progressed to a bunch of off-coverage, easy catches underneath, and a play where he vacated his deep zone and allowed WR Michael Gallup a massive gain down to the 1-yard line. Peters and Amari Cooper’s antics carried over to the postgame with the two nearly fighting:
Marcus Peters & Amari Cooper mic'd up after the Cowboys-Rams game pic.twitter.com/cRrQUXPsUD— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) January 13, 2019
FS Lamarcus Joyner
Lamarcus Joyner is the second member of the secondary on the stock down portion as his game wasn’t great, though it wasn’t terrible either. He was the victim of the first touchdown from WR Amari Cooper as he was undressed on a fantastic route by Cooper in man coverage. Joyner did have a fantastic tackle on a crucial fourth-and-one short of the sticks, getting the ball back to the offense.
The Rams had 273 rushing yards in the contest with both RB’s C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley exceeding the 100-yard mark. Not only that, but QB Jared Goff was sacked a grand total of zero times. Goff routinely had clean pockets and plenty of time to throw the ball, when needed. Absolutely outstanding job from the offensive line, these five deserve the game ball.
RB’s C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley
Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns (5.3 yards-per-carry) and Gurley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown (7.2 yards-per-carry). These guys played possessed all night, breaking tackles and hitting holes with plenty of burst. The duo is a great mix of power (Anderson) and speed (Gurley). So long as the running game is clicking, the Rams will dominate. The offense had zero three-and-outs in the game.
DT Ndamukong Suh
What perfect timing for Ndamukong Suh to have his best game as a Ram. Suh only had four tackles and a tackle-for-loss, but man oh man was he an issue for the Cowboys offensive line when it came to the running game. Suh’s emergence is coming at the perfect time as the Rams approach the ultimate goal — a Superbowl.
ILB Cory Littleton
Cory Littlejohn (kidding) combined for seven tackles, a tackle-for-loss, and a pass deflection. Littleton looked fierce today, maintaining his responsibilities in the run game and using his terrific closing speed to finish tackles. The entire front-seven did a fantastic job stepping up, becoming more physical, and forcing the Cowboys offense off schedule consistently. RB Ezekiel Elliott had 20 carries for 47 yards (2.4 yards-per-carry).
That was quite a masterful gameplan, wasn’t it? Head Coach Sean McVay was dominant offensively. One of his major qualms in his short career was his affinity to pass the ball and forget about the running game, but not today. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips had the defense flying to the ball as a collective unit.
Enjoy it Rams fans, onto next week! We’ll find out tomorrow who the Rams are slated to play between the New Orleans Saints or Philadelphia Eagles.