The dust is settling on the Los Angeles Rams’ overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts. While LA jumped out to a commanding lead, the Colts roared back with 23 unanswered points before Matthew Stafford toughed through a hip injury late to lead a game-winning drive.
These are the top performers in terms of PFF grades along with some other notes:
Top five grades on offense:
1 - Puka Nacua, WR: 89.1
It’s no surprise that Nacua finished with a borderline-elite grade after his consistent performance throughout the game and then clutch game-winning touchdown (the first of his young career) in overtime.
Nacua finished with nine receptions for 163 yards and the score.
First one couldn’t have been sweeter pic.twitter.com/Gg8CeiaDZH— Puka Nacua (@AsapPuka) October 1, 2023
2 - Kevin Dotson, RG: 86.0
LA acquired Dotson via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to Week 1. The veteran had a reputation as a better pass blocker than road grader, but he flipped that in this game with a run blocking grade of 89.3 and pass blocking of 60.8. It was an impressive debut in a Rams uniform for Dotson.
Kevin Dotson was the third-highest graded guard in run-blocking according to Pro Football Focus.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) October 2, 2023
Allowed just one pressure in pass protection.
Will we see more of Dotson or does Noteboom move back to RG?
3 - Ronnie Rivers, RB: 80.7
Rivers ran hard and creating yardage that did not seem apparent at first glance, just as he did over the preseason. He finished with nine carries for 47 yards (5.2 average). More important is the fact he had a pass blocking grade of 78.6, which suggests he can be trusted in third down and passing situations.
4 - Rob Havenstein, RT: 78.8
The reliable Havenstein did not surrender a single pressure in pass protection and had a tough matchup in the emerging Kwity Paye.
5 - Matthew Stafford, QB: 72.6
Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown to Nacua and fought through a late-game injury to help stop the bleeding and hold onto the win—it was a gritty performance from LA’s franchise QB.
The veteran had one big-time throw and one turnover-worthy play to go along with a box score of 319 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. After accounting for a 20% drop back minimum filter, Stafford is the sixth-highest graded passer through four weeks. He leads the NFL in big-time throws with 11.
Matthew Stafford made some of the best throws of the week on his first drive against the Colts.— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) October 2, 2023
Credit to Puka for catching in traffic but there are very few quarterbacks that he would be putting up theses numbers with. pic.twitter.com/My1FDdHR6y
Other notes on offense:
With Alaric Jackson out at LT, Joe Noteboom shifted over from RG to fill in. He struggled in pass blocking (34.8) and had a tough matchup in former Ram Samson Ebukam.
Top five grades on defense:
1 - Aaron Donald, DE: 90.3
Donald had eight total pressures in this game and entered Sunday’s game with 14, so he’s now taken a commanding lead on the team with 22. Rookie OLB Byron Young is the next closest with 16.
It was a dominant day for Donald and PFF credited him with three sacks (PFF does not award half sacks, which may not match the traditional box score).
My god, Aaron Donald is a menace.— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 1, 2023
Double teams don’t matter.
2 - Quentin Lake, DB: 82.9
Lake played only 9 snaps but had an important pass breakup on the Colts’ final offensive drive in regulation.
3 - Bobby Brown, DT: 81.1
Nosetackle Bobby Brown had two total pressures and two run stops against Indianapolis’ sturdy interior offensive line. It was an encouraging performance from the young offensive lineman who played 32 snaps and is becoming a regular in the lineup.
4 - Derion Kendrick, CB: 78.2
Kendrick made our “winners” list following the game. While Ahkello Witherspoon allowed a big deep pass to Michael Pittman to help the Colts’ comeback attempt (and was flagged for defensive pass interference on the play), Kendrick did not allow a single reception on two targets. He’s played well over the last two weeks, though needs to be mindful of contact and drawing penalties.
5 - Jonah Williams, DE: 70.8
Williams has been LA’s most consistent run defender on the defensive line and finished with an admirable 73.0 grade in that facet. He recorded two run stops in this game
Other notes on defense:
Tre Tomlinson played only a single defensive snap on defense and was flagged for a holding penalty that gave the Colts a free first down. Second-year corner Cobie Durant had another disappointing week and allowed the most receiving yardage on the defense with four targets that were converted into three catches for 43 yards and a passer rating of 109.4.