In their best performance of the season, the Los Angeles Rams demolished the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 34-7. With all three phases of the team clicking, the Rams easily coasted through this game, keeping their playoff hopes alive for at least one more week. Now the Rams will need the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Minnesota Vikings, helping with playoff seeding and a potential Wild Card spot.
Let’s get into the stock report:
RG David Edwards
Edwards was credited with four penalties on the day. None worse than the holding call (which was kind of weak) that wiped out a 28-yard touchdown run by RB Todd Gurley. Edwards struggled with penalties in this one, but was otherwise fine. He’ll need to clean up his technique moving forward.
KR/PR JoJo Natson
Natson didn’t do anything crazy, but his decision making skills are severely lacking. His decision to take a kickoff out of the endzone in the 4th quarter forced the backups on offense to start with terrible field position. Natson hasn’t shown much since taking over the returner roles.
QB Jared Goff
This was easily Goff’s best game this season as he accumulated 424 passing yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers. Goff was ripping passes to any and every weapon on the team, with a handful of gorgeous darts in the process. None were prettier than the dime to WR Cooper Kupp in the back of the endzone for a touchdown. The Rams need more vintage performances like this one from their signal caller.
WR’s Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp
Woods pulled in career-highs in both receptions (13) and yardage (172), while Kupp put together another excellent performance chipping in six receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Both guys were practically wide open all game, with Woods pulling down an incredible diving grab across the middle of the field. WR Brandin Cooks was barely used because so much production came from these two.
TE Tyler Higbee
With Gerald Everett missing the game due to an injury, Higbee stepped up in a major way as he pulled down seven receptions on eight targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. Higbee also set career-highs in receptions and yardage. It was a fantastic performance from the man the Rams paid handsomely prior to the season. The chemistry between Goff and Higbee (training camp roommates) is very evident.
What an incredible performance by the defense on all three levels. Not only did the starting defense pitch a complete shutout for 3.5 quarters, they didn’t even allow the Cardinals’ offense to cross the 40-yard-line. It was a dominating performance all around for a unit that was just recently embarrassed on national television. The defense accumulated six sacks (1.5 for DT Aaron Donald), one interception (pick-six by S Taylor Rapp), and and five tackles-for-loss. The unit also lost two interceptions (one by Rapp, one by CB Jalen Ramsey) as well as another big play or two because of penalties. It was just an incredible job by Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ guys.
The rushing attack was dominant as they totaled 137 yards and Goff was sacked only one time. They routinely gave Goff a clean pocket to work from. Outside of a few penalties by Edwards, this unit was fantastic.