In Week 2 the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts definitely gave us a show of the good, the bad, and the ugly, as the Rams won 27-24. We saw a stellar performance by Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, some terrible plays by special teams, and a lot of plays in the middle. Here is a breakdown by letter grade for each position group.
Matthew Stafford completed 19 of 30 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. He seemed to be challenged by the Colts defense slightly more than the Bears in week one. Mainly his longest throw of the game was a 44-yard pass to Cooper Kupp which is still a nice chunk play but compared to last week he hit no passes beyond 50 yards or behind the safeties. He otherwise threw one interception that was tipped and managed the game without taking unnecessary sacks or lost fumbles.
This week we did get to see more than Darrell Henderson Jr at running back due to the second half injury to Henderson which had him exit that game without returning. Before he was injured, Henderson ran a good game, totaling 53 yards on 13 carries, one touchdown. Sony Michel came in as the back up and had 46 yards on 10 carries. Most of his carries came in the fourth quarter as the Rams were working the four-minute offense and effectively moved the chains.
Cooper Kupp had an excellent game with nine receptions for 163 yards and a two touchdowns. Kupp’s work on the screen game and his awareness and ability when it comes to key third down conversions also helped the Rams offense a great deal. Robert Woods had five catches for 64 yards but also had two drops. Van Jefferson had one reception but also one drop. In terms of individual grades Kupp will bring the group up with his A+ performance but the groups grade is...
Tyler Higbee played less of a receiving role in this game as he did in the first game coming away with only one reception for eight yards on one target. However, his one reception did move the chains and convert for a first down and Higbee made a solid contribution as a blocker in the run game.
The offensive line is holding up in pass protection. Against the Colts, the front allowed only one sack and otherwise gave Stafford enough time and space to sit and move in the pocket while working through his progressions. The run blocking was serviceable as both running backs finished with an average of over 4 yards per carry and a team total of 101 rushing yards. The longest run of the night was Darrell Henderson’s 13-yard run.
The defensive line again got off to a rough start allowing a couple of run plays that put the Colts in the red zone on the first drive of the game. However, the front tightened up in time and in good fashion by stopping the Colts on three consecutive run attempts from the Rams one yard line. The result was a failed fourth down attempt and zero points for the Colts on their first drive. The line also contributed to a second red zone stop that resulted in an interception and again a scoreless red zone attempt. Sebastian Joseph-Day and Greg Gaines contributed with sacks. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was limited to a 3.4 yard per carry average.
The linebackers started off contributing to the red zone stops in the first half. The first defensive stand was finished on a fourth down sack by Leonard Floyd. The second of the scoring zone denials came from an interception by Troy Reeder on a shuffle pass. The run defense is showing improvement over last week, running back Jonathan Taylor was held to only 51 rushing yards.
Colts quarterback Carson Wentz was limited to under 250 yards passing and only one touchdown. The corners did allow for a couple of deep pass connections and one touchdown on a red zone skinny post that beat Darious Williams in man to man coverage. However, Jalen Ramsey helped the groups grade with a game sealing interception in the fourth quarter.
The safety group also contributed to a couple of deep ball connections from the Colts passing attack. But they also helped in improving the run defense and Taylor Rapp was credited with an assisted sack.
Kicker Matt Gay helps to bring up the grade by kicking the game winning field goal in the fourth quarter. However, the Rams started off by allowing a hefty kick return for the second game in a row. Moreover, the punt team made a major error by motioning out of position causing the snap to ricochet off a blocker and result in an easy touchdown for the Colts.
Overall the team played another well managed game with big plays making up for some lost ones. With a player ejected and a series of unfavorable plays in the second half, the Rams showed the ability to handle momentum swings to stay poised and on track for the win. Next up is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at SoFi stadium for week three.