SOFI was EVERYTHING and THEN SOME! Section 401 was rockin' all game long. Can't wait to go to Baltimore on Jan 2 to watch this team again.
Let's take a look at some gradessssssss.
Matthew Stafford: 82.7 (-0.2)
QB1 went off for 27/38, 343 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT in America's Game of the Week. Another checked box in Stafford's path to being recognized as a week in/week out big-time QB in the league. He wanted to play in big games, and he certainly answered the bell against the Bucs. It didn't start off the smoothest as he missed a few throws on the first two drives (underthrowing DeSean Jackson twice), missing Cooper Kupp twice (1 of which was a drop, but thrown slightly behind) and one of Kupp's almost went for an INT had the TB defensive back not dropped a gimme off the tip. From then on, Stafford settled in; using quick WR screens to neutralize the TB pass rush. McVay didn't even use PA (only 3 times) which is a staple of Stafford. Again, a great way to neutralize TB's pass rush. Stafford did have an odd screen play at one point where he seemed to stumble and was throwing a quick screen across his body. The ball came out of his hand wobbly and was also close to being picked off (from my vantage point in the stands). It gave a moment of PTSD with Goff trying to do much (compounding a mistake). But, to wrap up, it was great to see Stafford spread the ball around and hit on a deep ball to DJax. QB1: 3-0 as a Ram.
Week 3 Grade: A, Overall: A-, Trend: Slight Upward
Darrell Henderson: 69.7 (DNP), Sony Michel: 63.0 (+2.0), Jake Funk: 63.6 (+3.3)
While the RBs have yet to pop big games, how smart does the Sony Michel trade look now given Cam Akers season-ending injury + Darrell Henderson's rib injury. Michel quietly carried the ball 20 times. While he only managed 67 yards (3.4 per), Michel's involvement has been pretty seamless. He BLEW UP Ross Cockrell on a blitz pickup. He might have been late getting there, but he is not afraid to stick his nose in there and let him presence be known. He runs hard and I trust him in the backfield. Against a stout run D there in Tampa Bay, he did his job this week. Jake Funk received his first NFL carry and it was good for 6 yards.
Week 3 Grade: B+, Overall: B, Trend: Neutral
Robert Woods: 66.1 (-4.2), Cooper Kupp: 89.2 (-1.5), Van Jefferson: 65.3 (+3.4), DeSean Jackson: 77.7 (+13.2), TuTu Atwell: 60.0 (N/A), Ben Skowronek: 60.0 (N/A)
"Cooper Kupp! That's a nice route!" WR1 continues to shine. Stafford fed him 9 rec (12 targets), 96 yards, and 2 TD. Kupp's ocho route for his 2nd TD was a beaut. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on Carlton Davis." The fact that Kupp's route tree and route running is still expanding and improving is crazy. His physical strength to fight for extra yards, his elusiveness to create separation, and is route tree expansion are unparalleled in the league except for D. Hopkins.
Woods had another quiet game (3 rec, 33 yards, 0 TD). But I expect a big game from him against ARI this week. He has averaged 80.0 yards/game against ARI as a Ram and I expect ARI to try to contain Kupp after his hot start. Van Jefferson caught 4 balls for 42 yards. And DJAX had his homecoming party; 3 rec, 120 yards, 1 TD. The fact that all 4 guys had at least 3 rec is a positive sign that Stafford is building rapport with his top 4 offensive weapons (especially against TB's defense).
Outside of a few miscues on routes/timing with QB + a drop or two, this group was solid again.
Week 3 Grade: A-, Overall: A-, Trend: Slight Upward
Tyler Higbee: 64.1 (-2.6), Johnny Mundt: 56.3 (+8.3), Brycen Hopkins: DNP, Jacob Harris: 60.0 (N/A)
A good bounce back game from the TEs in the passing game. Higbee hauled in 4 rec (5 targets), 40 yards, 1 TD. Higbee was out for an extended amount of time, but returned. I do not know what the injury was (arm?). Higbee seems to be inconsistent in the run game, where Mundt is more suitable.
Week 3 Grade: B-, Overall: C+, Trend: Slight Upward
Andrew Whitworth: 72.0 (+4.5), Joe Noteboom: 60.0 (N/A), David Edwards: 72.7 (-0.2), Brian Allen: 77.7 (-0.8), Austin Corbett: 72.3 (+11.0), Rob Havenstein: 74.5 (+4.9)
As close to a statement game as you can have by the OL. Stafford was only sacked once, but the dudes up front CAME TO WORK. Austin Corbett was mauling Ndamukong Suh (there is a video montage of him stone walling him + pancaking Suh). Brian Allen was once again study in the middle (with 3 impressive weeks in a row against A. Hicks, Buckner, and now Vea). Stafford gave him high praise this week going into ARI. Andrew Whitworth was getting after this week; putting up his best PFF performance of the 2021 season. He even cleaned up Higbee's fumble to preserve a drive. This group will find its footing in the run game soon. It took Cam Akers to get a feel back there for his OL.
Week 3 Grade: A, Overall: B+, Trend: Slight-to-Moderate Upward
Aaron Donald: 91.9 (+0.6), Sebastian Joseph-Day: 63.5 (+3.7), A'Shawn Robinson: 70.1 (+10.7), Greg Gaines: 75.5 (+1.1), Jonah Williams: 56.3 (-13.3), Mike Hoecht: 47.1 (+0.9)
AD99 tallied his second sack of the season; tying Leonard Little for the franchise record at 87 1/2 sacks. His sack was also a FF on Brady; helping knock the Bucs back in their attempt to add points before the 1st half. It was a pivotal play as Succop missed the FG and the Rams got the ball to begin the 2nd half. Donald's 82% snap share is actually the lowest of his for this season (96%, 93%, and 82%). He padded the stat sheet across; adding a PD and a TFL.
A'Shawn had his best game with the DL (83.6 PFF); adding 6 tackles (3 solo). His snap share was only 26%, but it seems as if his role is in early down work; giving way to Gaines, J. Williams, Hoecht in passing situations. And considering TB abandoned the run early, its not that surprising he saw limited time. SJD added 3 tackles (2 solo) of his own.
Against an above average OL; holding the Bucs RBs to 10 rushes, 21 yards is pretty damn good, I'd say. The game was one in the trenches, and the Rams were able to shut down the run game early and allow themselves to pin their ears back on Brady.
Week 3 Grade: A+, Overall: A-, Trend: Significant Upward
Kenny Young: 66.2 (-3.7), Troy Reeder: 78.9 (-5.3), Ernest Jones: 53.1 (N/A)
Kenny Young is standing out. 10 tackles (8 solo), 3 TFL, 1 sack in this one. And that doesn't include the hit he had on Bernard in the flat. See video below. The fact that he is playing 100% of snaps week in and week out is telling. Coaching staff must have gotten a breakthrough with him in offseason (+ Joe Barry sucks).
Troy Reeder played 22% of snaps, but only added 1 tackle.
The only reason I guess the PFF grades are negative is because Brady had a few throws across the middle into the zone coverage. Those "holes" in coverage are technically the LB zone/proximity. That's my only guess.
Week 3 Grade: A, Overall: B+, Trend: Slight-to-Moderate Upward (I can't justify holding the grade and trend back based on negative trends with what the eye test showed.)
Leonard Floyd: 71.1 (+8.3), Justin Hollins: 71.4 (-2.7), Terrell Lewis: 49.6 (+1.4), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: IR, Chris Garrett: 53.8 (N/A), Justin Lawlar: 66.0 (DNP)
Floyd added his 2nd sack (I actually missed this play) and played well across the board; posting an individual grade of 79.5 - third highest for the defense.
The big story here though was the injury to Hollins (pec) who will now miss 8-10 weeks. The depth was already thin and is even thinner moving forward. The Rams will need someone to step up as the other Edge starter across Floyd. The likely candidate seems to be Terrell Lewis, with Okoronkwo/C. Garrett/Lawlar spelling him. The Rams claimed Jamir Jones (PIT) off waivers but I don't expect any playing time this week.
Week 3 Grade: B, Current Grade: B-, Trend: Slight Downward
Jalen Ramsey: 79.1 (-4.1), Darious Williams: 64.0 (-1.9), David Long Jr.: 64.6 (+0.3), Robert Rochell: 73.4 (DNP)
Jalen Ramsey tallied 8 tackles (7 solo) and was once again lockdown. He continues his high PFF ranking; landing at #3 through 3 weeks. Brady attempted deep on him once, only to result in an overthrown pass to Mike Evans, who struggled to gain position (as the two were hand fighting).
Long Jr also held his own; playing 97% of snaps because of the dime package.
While the DBs allowed a lot of yardage. The Bucs were only able to dink and dunk there way down the field - and by the end of the 3rd Q, the Rams were in full control and tempo of the game.
Week 3 Grade: B+, Overall: B+, Trend: Neutral
Jordan Fuller: 54.8 (+3.7), Taylor Rapp: 56.2 (-11.1), Terrell Burgess: 60.2 (DNP), Nick Scott: 52.8 (-19.2), JR Reed: DNP, JuJu Hughes: INA
I believe Scott's PFF decline is in part of the zone coverage like the LBs. Rapp got beat to the outside on a drag route in his area which resulted in a big play for TB. Other than that there individual tallies were:
Fuller: 5 tackles (3 solo)
Rapp: 5 tackles (4 solo), PD
Scott: 2 tackles (1 solo)
I do think that Burgess cracks this group at some point, its just a matter of when.
Week 3 Grade: C+, Overall: B-, Trend: Slight Downward
Johnny Hekker: 62.1 (-1.5), Matt Gay: 74.4 (+3.1)
Matt Gay: 2/2 FGs with a long of 48. 4/4 XPs. Still money.
Hekker: 3 punts, 39.7 yards/punt, I-20 (3)
Matt Gay tallied 10 pts. And Johnny Hekker flipped field position as needed. His punt average may not be eye popping (but the field position is the important factor. Bucs started at: OWN 11, OWN 11, and OWN 12. That's what we want from our punter when called on.
Atwell returned 1 punt for 9 yards, which is respectable.
In kick/punt coverage, the Rams were more disciplined than past 2 weeks; holding TB to 4 punt return yards & an average of 24.0 yards/kickoff return.
Week 3 Grade: A, Overall: B-, Trend: Very Slight Upward
MCVAY AND CO.
McVay's team improved to 40-0 when entering halftime. Again, I want this streak to end some time (JUST NOT IN THE PLAYOFFS)! McVay showed that he isn't just a play action play caller. He utilized the quick screen game to neutralize TB's pass rush. And also relying on his playmakers to extend plays. At the end of the day, McVay's offense made a statement against the SB defending champs.
Raheem Morris continues to preach the bend, don't break mentality. His unit is squeezing teams in their play calling. Significantly limiting the explosive plays by playing soft in coverage, while unafraid to send an extra guy to get home to the QB (see: Ramsey blitzing early and often).
DiCamillis unit had their best game of the year all around. No mistakes. Putting the ball into the offense's hands as needed and allowing the defense to control the field.
Week 3 Grade: McVay: A/Morris: A/DiCamillis: A-, Overall: A-, Trend: Slight-to-Moderate Upward