Entering Week 2 of the season, the Los Angeles Rams were hoping to receive more contribution from their role players to elevate the team’s overall level of play. There was a focal point to get Allen Robinson II more involved with the offense and on defense, Jalen Ramsey helped solidify the backend with his playmaking ability. There were other players, who after the final whistle, had also elevated their stock on the team moving forward. But, as with any team, there were a few who had less than inspiring performances and continue to struggle to carve out a role on the team.
Which five players saw their stock climb after two weeks of the regular season? Was Tutu Atwell’s training camp overhyped? Which five players are not trending in the right direction?
1. Cobie Durant, CB
Cobie Durant ordered a combo meal for his first regular season action. The South Carolina State product recorded two tackles (one solo), one tackle for a loss, one sack, and one interception (returned 51 yards). Durant came into the game because of Troy Hill’s groin injury. He looked NFL ready, showcasing his fast-twitch ability and versatility as a corner that plays nickel and outside.
2. Ben Skowronek, WR
While Skowronek does not have the box score that would typically suggest a “Stock Up” candidate, his presence in the fullback role was paramount to the Rams early success in the game. Sean McVay used Gerald Everett in a similar way in 2020 against Washington, but Skowronek allows the offense to still operate out of 11 personnel, the staple formation for this offense’s identity.
Out of 63 Rams offensive plays against the Falcons, WR Ben Skowronek aligned at the Fullback position on 19 of them against the Falcons.— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) September 19, 2022
Rams EPA/play with Skowronek at Fullback: .23
Rams EPA/play on all other plays: .09
(all data via @TruMediaSports)
3. Alaric Jackson, RG
Lost in the early success and near-late game collapse was the steady play of Alaric Jackson at right guard. The Rams could have been in deep trouble after losing another offensive lineman in consecutive weeks, but the 2021 undrafted free agent from Iowa continues to perform well in emergency situations.
4. Terrell Lewis, EDGE
In Week 1, Terrell Lewis intercepted a pass. In Week 2, the third-year edge rusher finished with a career-best game according to PFF.
Handful of notable PFF grades from the Rams Week 2 win over Atlanta.— J.B. Long (@JB_Long) September 19, 2022
Aaron Donald 91.7
Cooper Kupp 83.2
Terrell Lewis 81.5*
Bobby Wagner 79.2
Jalen Ramsey 76.7
A.J. Jackson 71.1
Rob Havenstein 70.3
5. Bobby Wagner, ILB
I still think Bobby Wagner has yet to play his best football as a Ram, but after two weeks, the inside linebacker has two sacks and continues to solidify the Rams run defense.
1. David Long Jr, CB
Outside of the 2021-2022 playoffs, David Long Jr has not looked good. The Michigan Wolverine gave up an explosive pass to KhaDarel Hodge for 39 yards, helping the Atlanta Falcons get back into the game late. A shaky two game start is not going to help Long Jr keep his job, especially with Cobie Durant, Robert Rochell, and Derion Kendrick pushing for playing time.
2. Tutu Atwell, WR
Last week, Atwell saw seven snaps and one target. This week, he only saw two snaps and zero targets. It is still early in the year and teams are trying to take away LA’s explosive plays downfield, but Atwell isn’t getting onto the field even as a jet sweep option. Not to mention, his teammate Brandon Powell has shown the ability of playing his role.
3. Special Teams Blocking
Two weeks in a row, the special teams play has been tough to watch. Riley Dixon’s blocked punt is the glaring miscue. On kickoff returns, the return blocking has yet to generate any lanes for Brandon Powell. Against Atlanta, Powell only managed 15 yards on his lone return attempt.
4. Matt Stafford, QB
I’ll throw criticism at our franchise quarterback. Point blank: he has to do a better job of limiting his turnovers. His fearlessness to keep slinging the football is a fantastic intrinsic attribute. But the Rams can’t afford to play with fire week in and week out; leaving points on the table every week. For typically being a September/October-friendly quarterback with his stats, Stafford has not been his usual self in the early-going.
5. Leonard Floyd, EDGE
If the Rams want to beat the powerhouse teams of Buffalo, Los Angeles (A), Tampa Bay, and Green Bay, then they will need to generate a pass rush. Leonard Floyd has been “MIA” for two weeks.
Who raises their stock in Week 3 @ Arizona?
This poll is closed
Cam Akers, RB
Allen Robinson II, WR
Joe Noteboom, LT
Greg Gaines, DL