QB: Jared Goff
Some are saying that Goff “was not the problem” but I think a quarterback, especially one who is being paid like Goff is being paid, is meant to be the solution. The failsafe towards not losing at home to a winless team. And the interception he threw was entirely on him.
RB: Cam Akers
The state of the running back group has gone from a “committee” approach to simply being in the hands of the rookie. Akers had 15 carries for 63 yards and several key plays called back for holding. Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown combined for two carries and two yards. I guess there isn’t a gameplan in Sean McVay’s book that allows for either of them to play when LA is trailing?
WR: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods
Similar to Goff, it’s not as though the loss “is on” Kupp and Woods, but at some point we have to account for the players who are meant to “win” these games. The ones being paid the most to be difference makers and against the Jets, you’d have expected a more dominant performance out of either or both.
There are six wide receivers to have crossed over 100 yards against New York this season, and another 12 who had at least 60 yards. Names such as Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins, DeVante Parker, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs and DK Metcalf, among others.
Woods caught six of eight targets for 56 yards and Kupp caught five of five for 39. If I’m running the Jets defense — and they’re always looking for new blood to do that — I’m ecstatic that I allowed 95 yards on 13 targets to LA’s top two receiving weapons. Especially given that Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson were complete non-factors; and Reynolds played in 45 snaps, only three less than Kupp.
TE: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett
Higbee scrambled for 44 yards and he caught a touchdown, but an illegal block above the waist killed a first down run by Akers. He also had a false start. Everett made a nice grab but also had a drop. This isn’t that surprising: the Jets rank dead last in touchdowns allowed to tight ends this season.
OL: Joe Noteboom, David Edwards, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein
Holding penalties on Noteboom and Corbett killed important runs by Akers. I noted one play where Blythe got blown up for a sack allowed; Goff matched his season-high with three sacks taken. For as good of a job as the offensive line has done all season, it’s fair to point out when they have their worst performance of the year.
Why call it the “worst”? They were facing the New York Jets and Quinnen Williams left midway through the game with a head injury.
DL: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day
Again, you can say that the defensive line “was not the problem” but the LA Rams pay their “interior defensive line” more money than any other team in the NFL. Yes, that is mostly due to Aaron Donald, but the team signed both Brockers and A’Shawn Robinson in the offseason.
Robinson played 12 snaps on Sunday.
Morgan Fox had a sack over his 16 snaps. Donald had one QB hit. Darnold was sacked twice, his lowest total of sacks taken since four games prior. Gore was able to grind out difficult yards right up the middle. Also, I believe it was Derek Rivers who got blown up by J.T. Hassell on the blocked punt.
LB: Troy Reeder, Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Kenny Young
It’s more like... I have nothing to really say about the linebackers? Hollins played in a season-high 38 snaps but had as many facemask penalties (one) as he did tackles. Reeder seemed to have a decent game. I can’t say that the Floyd contract has been justified; he has only stood out in two or three games this season.
Samson Ebukam had the other sack of Darnold, playing in 16 snaps.
CB: Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Darious Williams
Jamison Crowder was basically as effective as a receiver as Woods: six of eight targets were caught, gaining 66 yards. This was never a game about the Jets WRs vs the Rams CBs. New York’s other three receivers combined for six catches on eight targets for 48 yards. There was little positive or negative that LA’s cornerbacks could do in a game like this.
S: John Johnson, Jordan Fuller
Both had six solo tackles and one assist. Not a lot stands out negatively, not a lot stands out positively, but I’d lean towards the C grade for the safeties.
Special Teams: Johnny Hekker, Matt Gay, Nsimba Webster
Protecting Hekker failed. I counted Rivers as the person to lose his one-on-one blocking assignment. Gay had a great game but the Rams couldn’t get him one more opportunity.
Webster’s 34-yard return: show me what he did on the play at the outset that any returner wouldn’t have done. The Jets over-pursued the punt he was immediately past six Jets within 1.5 seconds of catching the ball. Within another 0.5 seconds, he was past eight defenders. He only had to run to the left to avoid the last Jet — it was essentially the only “decision” he had to make on the play and he went the wrong way.