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Rams-Texans: Joe Noteboom and the offensive line maul the Houston defense

The Rams offensive line leaves no doubt against the Texans

Los Angeles Rams v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams battered the hapless Houston Texans by a final score of 38-22, pushing their record to 7-1. As expected, the Rams offensive line imposed their will throughout the contest and paved the way for a big day on offense.

Filling in for Andrew Whitworth, left tackle Joe Noteboom showed that he is a starting caliber blindside protector in the NFL. Combining this performance with his string of seven starts in 2020, Noteboom continued to drive up the price tag to retain his services once this season concludes.

Houston defensive end Jonathan Greenard (who played on both the left and right side during the game) is no slouch. He leads the Texans with seven sacks on the season, after getting backup quarterback John Wolford to the ground early in the fourth quarter.

However, this sack occurred only after most of the starters were pulled, as he was able to beat back up lineman A.J. Jackson with a nasty spin move.

Pass Protection: A

As previously mentioned, the lone sack on the day took place once the majority of the first string sat comfortably on the sideline. Prior to that, the big guys up front handled everything the Texans threw at them.

Stafford was afforded all day to throw, accumulating 305 yards in three quarters. He wasn’t sacked on the day and was barely touched by Texan defenders. We do have to take into consideration that the Texans are in the hunt for the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, but regardless of the level of competition, the pass protection on Sunday was elite.

Run Blocking: A+

Running backs Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel galloped through gaping holes from the first play of the day. Houston put up minimal resistance as the Rams running backs played the role of the hot knife and the Texans co-starred as butter.

If McVay and company wanted to try and get 200 yards on the ground, the Rams really could have done it against the Texans. L.A. threw the ball because they wanted to, not because they had to. Los Angeles gained 165 yards on 31 carries, averaging 5.3 per tote.

Penalties: A

The O-line committed one penalty on the day. On the last drive of the game, left guard David Edwards was guilty of moving prior to the snap, drawing a false start flag from the officials.

I can look the other way on this particular penalty. Dealing with a different cadence and voice inflections due to Wolford replacing Stafford in the blowout is a legit adjustment.

Honestly, I’m just making an excuse for him at this point. One inconsequential penalty so late in a beat down isn’t a huge deal. Overall, another good game by the offensive line.