Here’s the report card:
Make no mistake. QB Jared Goff didn’t have a great game. The late touchdown drive on which Goff was sparkling papered over an otherwise very poor performance. His best throw of the night was a laser to the sideline that WR Mike Thomas dropped. He had two easy deep balls, one to WR Cooper Kupp and another to WR Josh Reynolds that was wiped out with a penalty.
Consider the second half drive chart:
End of game
And this on a night where the offensive line was very good.
Look, the bottom line is that many have tried to pin Goff’s disappointing season on the offensive line. Tonight might have wiped that excuse completely off the table.
RB Todd Gurley had 25 carries for a reason I can’t really fathom given everything that’s gone on this season, but didn’t do a ton with them. His night was mostly a byproduct of playcalling (again, 25 carries...) and line play.
I suppose its “good” that Gurley got so much work, but it certainly confounds after last week’s fourth quarter...
WR Cooper Kupp was the only available starter from the trio of WR Brandin Cooks, WR Robert Woods and Kupp. While WR Josh Reynolds, unsurprisingly, had some good moments, Thomas did not with his drop.
Getting a bump here with the blocking from TE Johnny Mundt especially given that he was plugged in at fullback. Who saw that coming?
What in the hell, man? The Rams lose LG Joseph Noteboom, C Brian Allen and RT Rob Havenstein...and the line looks good against Khalil Mack and crew?! The coaching staff is going to have a huge decision on their hands if Havenstein is able to go next week given how this line played tonight...
Aaron Donald was great (what’s new) while DT Sebastian Joseph-Day had another nice night plugging gaps. RB David Montgomery was consistently running into a wall of bodies all night because of the clutter the guys up front were putting down.
I’m including the edge rushers here which drags the grade down a bit, because the coverage from LB Cory Littleton was very good as it has been all year. He misplayed the touchdown for RB Tarik Cohen, but Littleton was in position to make the play. Ball skills!
CB Jalen Ramsey was fantastic, and CB Troy Hill yet again held up well. Rookie CB David Long Jr. had some nice work as well. And I love CB Nickell Robey-Coleman’s consistent disruption out of the slot. He really is a great component of this group.
S Marqui Christian is a bit like CB Troy Hill. He’s been a very good rotational safety for years.
Head Coach Sean McVay just continues to argue...with himself.
Gurley was given free reign tonight a week after not getting a single touch in the fourth quarter against the Steelers. Why? The only real answer is that load management plan be damned. We needed to win this game, and if that meant overusing Gurley so be it. But...wasn’t that the case a week ago?
And series-to-series, McVay would fluctuate between three runs or three passes without mixing them in leading to a spread of three-and-outs. It was perhaps excessively frustrating because the O-line was playing so well. Goff’s miscues throughout notwithstanding, McVay seems so predisposed to extremes. Even with disappointing results.