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Los Angeles Rams versus New Orleans Saints: Stock up, stock down

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Even with a sloppy performance, the Rams come away with a sizable win.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Even after a rough and ugly performance, the Los Angeles Rams reeled in their second win of the season, improving their record to 2-0. The Rams knocked off the New Orleans Saints 27-9 in their home opener.

Let’s jump into the stock report:

Stock Down

Offensive Line

The offensive line needed a better performance than this against an average defensive line. Right guard Austin Blythe was lost to an injury that looked pretty serious as he needed to be carted away. Jamil Demby stepped in his place. Right tackle Rob Havenstein got abused by defensive end Cameron Jordan, simply put. Quarterback Jared Goff wasn’t given much time to get comfortable and the running game just didn’t have many holes at all. The OL also had multiple avoidable penalties.

PR JoJo Natson

JoJo Natson actually pulled in a big return (32 yards) later in the game, though his fielding of a ball on the two-yard line showed his decision making continues to be shoddy at best. Natson needs to know when to field punts and when to let them go. His play leaves something to be desired.

Stock Up

S Taylor Rapp

Taylor Rapp drew some tough assignments in this contest as he routinely covered running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook in man coverage, excelling at both. Rapp is a gamer who uses his tremendous football IQ and incredible angles to maximize his defensive output. Rapp registered six tackles and a pass deflection in the contest.

WR Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp had himself a tremendous performance, reeling in five passes for 120 yards and a touchdown that was overturned as he was inches short on one of the most incredible catch and run’s you’ll ever see in your lifetime. There are no words, just watch and enjoy:

Kupp is the king of finding zones and sitting in between them, converting third downs and moving the chains as well as anyone in the league.

RB Malcolm Brown

Most might feel inclined to put Todd Gurley here (and I wouldn’t blame them), though Malc deserves some love for how hard he runs. Brown had multiple runs that should have resulted in lost yardage or minimal gains, instead gaining 37 yards on six carries for an average of 6.2 yards. Brown also chipped in another reception of ten yards. The drop-off in play from starter to backup isn’t visible now, and that’s exactly what the Rams imagined when putting Gurley and Brown in a timeshare.

S John Johnson III

John Johnson is the best Rams defender not named Aaron Donald. JJ3 was asked to cover Jared Cook in man on many occasions, completely shutting him down. JJ3 also had an incredible interception on the first drive of the game as he was laying on the floor and the ball bobbled it’s way into his hands.