The LA Rams went 10-6 last season, but how did they get there? Reviewing the 2020 campaign should give us a better view of what to expect in 2021.
Week 1 - Win over the Cowboys
Week 2 - LA Rams at Philadelphia Eagles
Important Personnel Notes:
- Joseph Noteboom was injured mid-game and replaced by David Edwards. Permanently, it turns out.
- Malcolm Brown led running backs with 37 snaps, followed by Darrell Henderson at 29, and Cam Akers at three.
- Van Jefferson’s 26 snaps would be the most he’d see until Week 13.
- Kenny Young’s 45 snaps would turn out to be a season-high.
As noted in Week 1, I want to keep an eye on how the Rams start vs how they finish. This was another dominant first quarter performance, as LA scored touchdowns on their first three drives, including an eight-play, 80 yard march that took all of 3:32.
On the third play of the game, Eagles running back Miles Sanders lost a fumble (Micah Kiser on the ‘forced’ end of it) that was recovered by Young. Cam Akers had three carries for 18 yards on the opening drive, but left with a ribs injury and did not return. Jared Goff went four yards to Tyler Higbee for the first score.
Jefferson had three catches for 39 yards on the second touchdown drive, but we wouldn’t see much of him again for another three months. The third touchdown was again caught by Higbee, this time for three yards, and that gave LA a 21-3 lead with over 12 minutes left in the first half.
Philadelphia cut it to 21-9 on a Carson Wentz keeper (with a failed two-point try), then forced a punt by the Rams four minutes later to get one more try before half. It appeared as though that try had failed when Cameron Johnston came out to punt, but a Cooper Kupp fumble on the return gave it back to the Eagles on the LA 11. Sanders scored two plays later and the lead was down to 21-16 at halftime.
And here comes the concern for another second half slumper.
The Rams went three-and-out to open the third quarter, then Wentz responded by completing five of his next seven attempts, including three to DeSean Jackson, setting up the Eagles with first-and-10 at the Rams 21. But on the next play, Wentz was intercepted by Darious Williams, shutting off the momentum valve and giving Goff another chance to redeem the team for their previous three opportunities.
LA got close, but settled for a 30-yard Sam Sloman field goal to make it 24-16.
Philadelphia kicker Jake Elliott cut it to 24-19, but Henderson broke the Eagles wings with a 40-yard run to open the next drive:
Three plays later, Goff hit Higbee for a third touchdown on the day.
Higbee scored two touchdowns in his other 14 games combined, 16 if you include the playoffs.
The Eagles then had a turnover on downs and finally Henderson put the Rams in a comfortable lead when he scored with 3:41 left to make it 37-19. Wentz was intercepted by Troy Hill to effectively end the game.
Final Score: Rams 37, Eagles 19
Next Week: at Buffalo Bills