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Los Angeles Rams versus New Orleans Saints: Game notes

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The tape has spoken.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Now that I’ve had a chance to fully go through the all-22, I’d like to share a few tidbits that I took away from the Los Angeles Rams versus New Orleans Saints contest in week two. Let’s jump right into it:

  • Quarterback Jared Goff was hesitant in this game. Had a deep pass to wide receiver Robert Woods for a potential touchdown if he held the ball for another moment, missed an uncovering Woods on another occasion in favor of a one-yard checkdown, and missed a wide open Brandin Cooks in the middle of the field. There were a lot of yards left on the field, some were due to Goff locking on elsewhere, some due to a lack of protection forcing Goff to get rid of it
  • Right tackle Rob Havenstein struggled in this one. Edge Cameron Jordan was too much to handle on Sunday, and rightfully so
  • Center Brian Allen and right guard Austin Blythe (when he was in) ran a lot of double teams
  • Rookie safety Taylor Rapp was used in a variety of roles, showcasing his versatility in many different avenues. Near the line of scrimmage, at inside linebacker, and zones all over the field (plus man coverage on tight ends and running backs)
  • Greg Gaines didn’t play much, but when he did, he looked solid at nose tackle. Ate two double teams on one play for example
  • Edge Dante Fowler Jr.’s spin move has really developed into a good move and a personal go-to
  • Tight end Tyler Higbee struggled mightily as a blocker
  • The defense had some interesting wrinkles with some inverted coverages, like Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman dropping to safety and Eric Weddle and John Johnson III dropping down into their zones (on separate occasions)
  • They also tried different coverage techniques on running back Alvin Kamara. The Rams had inside linebacker Bryce Hager and edge Clay Matthews bracket him on one occasion
  • Clay Matthews, as per usual, was excellent against the run, though invisible as a pass rusher. His sack-fumble was a missed facemask against a tight end
  • This game showed Head Coach Sean McVay’s genius. Used a ton of receiver screens the past week, then runs a fake screen for an easy window to Cooper Kupp. Runs a ton of toss plays, then hit the Saints with a fake toss for an easy big play on offense as the defense was flowing in wrong direction
  • Every time tight end Gerald Everett touches the ball, it makes me think “Why the hell does this guy not touch the ball more?”. He’s a very good player without the needed opportunities to showcase his abilities
  • There might’ve been something wrong injury-wise with cornerback Aqib Talib, as Troy Hill received a handful of snaps on defense in Talib’s spot
  • Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is trying his best to free up defensive tackle Aaron Donald, though it has yet to work. He’s lined Donald at up end, stunted him across multiple rushers, etc. Quarterbacks are very aware (offensive lineman, too) of #99. He was triple-teamed on multiple occasions:
  • Backup right guard Jamil Demby was a very solid run blocker on Sunday, also holding his own in pass protection. He was clearly fired up to be out there.

That’s all for this contest. Be sure to check back after the week three game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football.