The Los Angeles Rams weren’t a lock by many when the Week 2 rolled around the New Orleans Saints, all upset and angry about last year, showed up on their doorstep.
However, the boys in blue and white and gold and sometimes yellow, showed up and played like champs and are now 2-0 this season.
Here are the grades.
QB Jared Goff was a bit inaccurate in the first half and showed a lack of awareness at times, especially with the strip sack that couldn’t have gone disastrously when DE Cameron Jordan picked up the fumble. However, Goff evened out his play and was able to move the offense once he got in a groove. He threw a laser to WR Brandin Cooks for a touchdown pass as well as a straight up dime in the first quarter. 283 yards and 1 touchdown — I’ll take it.
Individually, the numbers for RB Todd Gurley II and RB Malcolm Brown weren’t anything to write home about, but their presence was quite valuable when you take the complete game into account. All in all, the team ran for 115 yards and Gurley got his first TD of the season. The boys did their job against a tough defensive line.
Who was better? WR Robert Woods, WR Brandin Cooks, or WR Cooper Kupp? On paper, Kupp’s 120 yards (with that amazing 66 yard scamper that sealed the game) was the headliner, but Woods was the heart and soul of the offense, per usual. And Cooks is always good for a splash play every now and then. I love this unit.
Before TE Tyler Higbee got hurt with a chest injury, he has some bright moments and if Robert Woods didn’t get knocked down during a screen play, would have had an easy touchdown reception. However, he was knocked out early and TE Gerald Everett came in and played pretty well. He had some key blocks and proved to be a big target for Goff, catching 3 passes for 21 yards. Is the bar low for these guys? Sure. But I like how they’re busting their ass when called upon.
It could have been worse, but the offensive line got pushed around a lot on Sunday. Goff was swarmed in key moments, especially in the strip sack play, and there was a lot of penalties by the O-line that really hurt the team’s momentum. OL Jamil Demby came in for an injured OL Austin Blythe and did the best he could, but he’s clearly a backup and played like one. However, the line did an admirable job in keeping the offensive moving and got better as the game went on.
I don’t care if DE Aaron Donald had a sack or not. He put fear in the hearts of the New Orleans Saints. He was everywhere in the first half, breaking through and wrecking havoc. And DT Sebastian Joseph-Day and DE Michael Brockers also had solid games, putting a lid on the Saints rushing attack (only 57 yards total).
The linebackers, probably least lauded unit on the LA Rams team, showed up and shut down the Saints offense. OLB Clay Matthews got himself another easy sack and OLB Dante Fowler Jr. broke through the blockers when he needed to. ILB Cory Littleton came back to Earth, but if he hadn’t dropped that easy inception, we’d be selling a different tune. Long story short, these guys have a great game in what was a very weird game.
Between QB Drew Brees and QB Teddy Bridgewater, the Saints only threw for 187 yards and no touchdowns. WR Michael Thomas was the only one who had himself a big game with 10 catches and 89 yards, but for Thomas, that’s pretty pedestrian. Props to S Taylor Rapp for his succinct tackles — he’s a good one.
WR Jojo Natson had some moments where he put the Rams in bad field position, but his 32 yard punt return really helped with the momentum of the game and the crowd ate it up. And K Greg Zuerlein went 2 for 2.
Coach Sean McVay sometimes goes for the clever play when fans want a traditional smash mouth approach when the Rams are in the red zone. That screen pass to Hygz was maybe oeverthinking things when he could have just pushed Brown through the middle. But the Rams put 27 points on the board and McVay had a lot to do with that.
Chef’s kiss. Couldn’t have called a cleaner game, boys. Loved it.