The Los Angeles Rams improved to 3-3 after defeating the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. After a close first half, running back Kyren Williams took over in the run game to rush for over 150 yards. Kevin Dotson continues to make an impact on the offensive line since getting his first start in Week 4. Here is this week’s stock up, stock down.
Stock Up: RB Kyren Williams
Losing Kyren Williams to injury obviously throws a wrench in this discussion. With that said, his performance still deserves to get recognized. His 158 yards rushing were the most for a Rams running back since Akers had 171 in 2020 against the New England Patriots. Akers had only 5.9 yards per carry in that game. Williams’ 7.9 yards per carry were the most for a Rams running back with at least 20 attempts in a game since CJ Anderson averaged 8.35 yards per carry in Week 17 of 2018 against the Arizona Cardinals.
What’s maybe more impressive though is that most of Williams’ yards came in the second half where he absolutely took over. While Cam Akers had strong performances to end the season last year, a Rams running back hadn’t taken over a game like that since Akers’ rookie year. Hopefully Williams comes back healthy and can provide more performances like the one on Sunday.
Stock Down Puka Nacua
Nacua didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but he had his worst game so far in a Rams uniform. He dropped a ‘would-be’ touchdown and only had four receptions for 24 yards. He also wasn’t an impactful as a blocker in the run game as he had been over the first five weeks of the season.
Again, this isn’t to say that Nacua was bad, but it was simply a small drop-off from where he had been to start the year. That was likely to be expected just as it should be expected that he will bounce back in no time.
Stock Up: RG Kevin Dotson
I am going to get more into Dotson later this week, but it’s hard to put into words just how much of an impact he’s had on the Rams offensive line. Les Snead deserves a lot of credit for the trade that he pulled off right before the beginning of the season. Like the Austin Corbett trade, there is potential for this one to pay major dividends. It puts the offensive line two or three pieces away from a major turnaround to potentially just one.
On Sunday, Dotson was the second-highest graded offensive lineman for the week according to Pro Football Focus. When running behind Dotson, Williams had five carries for 71 yards and had four first downs. That’s having an impact.
Stock Down: First Half Offense
The Rams offense had been one of the better units in the first half through the first five weeks of the season. However, on Sunday against the Cardinals, they started 0-for-4 on third down and couldn’t seem to get into any sort of rhythm.
Since Week 1, the Rams haven’t been able to put together a full game on offense and that’s certainly concerning as that is the unit that is supposed to be the strength of the team. Right now, they seem to lack a true identity as a unit at times.
Stock Up: EDGE Byron Young
As it stands, Young has a serious case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s leading all rookies in pressures with 25 and just had his third game with at least five pressures this season. Leonard Floyd had five such games in all of 2022. Young has three official sacks and after his strip sack against the Cardinals, he’s one of six rookies to force a fumble.
Byron Young winning with an inside chop x 2, outside chop and with a ghost move as the looper on a twist = juice pic.twitter.com/D46uXtnF8e— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 16, 2023
He seems to be getting better every week. His big concern coming out of Tennessee was his ability to defend in the run game. Young was credited with four stops against the Cardinals. Once the Rams complement Young with a premier pass rusher on the other side, they’ll be in really good shape.