After getting a chance to delve deep into the coaches film, I’ve come away with some interesting notes on the Los Angeles Rams’ plans against the Carolina Panthers in week one. Let’s jump right into them:
- The Rams routinely rotated the safety trio of Eric Weddle, John Johnson III, and Taylor Rapp in different positions (LOS, man coverage, deep coverage). More often than not they had JJ3 play the deep role and Weddle/Rapp closer to the line of scrimmage. First 3rd-and-long they had Weddle in the box, Rapp/JJ3 deep running quarters
- DL Michael Brockers, ILB Bryce Hager, and EDGE Clay Matthews all routinely lined up on the strongside of the offensive formation, with DL Aaron Donald, ILB Cory Littleton, and EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. on the weakside
- Bryce Hager played a solid-but-unspectacular game. Did a good job funneling runs inside and is pretty good at disengaging on blocks. Had one rep where QB Cam Newton got Hager to bite hard on an RPO which was a big gain
- Clay Matthews was outstanding as a run defender, though non-existent as a pass rusher. He was brilliant playing contain on the edge the entire contest
- QB Jared Goff was never comfortable for whatever reason, he simply missed too many throws. There were a handful of instances where he had a free guy running that he didn’t throw to
- WR Josh Reynolds had a very bad game, though he played much more than expected
- EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. had a good-not-great game. His two sacks were simple (untouched stunt, beat a running back) though he did have around three or four impressive rushes
- Don’t be the least bit worried about DT Aaron Donald. The Panthers routinely doubled and triple teamed him, threw it quick, and did anything they could to negate his impact..... and he was still good.
- OL Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen were up-and-down in their first NFL starts, though there were definitely encouraging signs. There were reps where both looked great in pass pro, typically double teaming defensive lineman. Noteboom did have some solo reps in pass pro where he looked great. In the run department, there were multiple instances where Allen latched onto his defender and opened a gap.
- Wanted to see a better game from the cornerbacks, especially Marcus Peters
Thanks for checking in with the game notes. If you’ve got a question, feel free to shoot it in the comments, and if I’ve got the answer, I’d be happy to share what I saw.