By Josh Waitsman
The Los Angeles Rams managed to hold onto a win over the Denver Broncos in a close 23-20 win. The Rams advanced to 6-0 on the season, and after the Kansas City took its first loss, they are the NFL’s lone undefeated team. This game was not without its ups-and-downs; many positional groups underperformed in what many thought would be an easy victory.
This was Jared Goff’s worst game of the season so far. He completed only 50 percent of his passes for barely over 200 yards, and zero touchdowns to one interception the Rams actually won in spite of Goff. Goff was not entirely bad in the game, and he did manage to accurately place some balls downfield leading to many of the Rams big plays. Grade: C
Not only did Goff have the worst game of the year- the offensive line did as well. Previously, Goff had only been sacked six times in five games. In the Denver game, the Broncos were able to bring him down five times. If not for some of the holes the unit opened up for running back Todd Gurley in the run game, they would be getting a much lower grade.
Robert Woods continues to establish himself as one of the better wide receivers in football with several clutch catches seemingly every week. Other than Wood, the receivers struggled to get any separation. It didn’t help that second-year sensation Cooper Kupp had to leave the game early with a knee injury, but there is no excuse for the subpar levels of play from teammate Brandin Cooks
Todd Gurley was the saving grace for the offense this week. He averaged over seven yards per carry as he ran all over the Broncos defense for 208 yards, and a two touchdowns. Without his stellar performance the Rams would probably have lost this game. Gurley was nearly unstoppable in what may have been the best game in his career so far. Backup Malcolm Brown has consistently been effective when he manages to get on the field.
Another week, and another disappointing game by the tight ends. Gerald Everett had just two catches for 24 yards, and Tyler Higbee recorded no stats. With how much head coach Sean McVay has utilized tight ends in the past, it’s hard to figure out whom to blame. This unit needs to step up the rest of the season if they want to be on par with the rest of the offense.
They were able to generate some pressure on Denver quarterback Case Keenum, but they are still struggling to get sacks. This was supposed to be a strong suit of the defense this season, and at this point it is getting a little worrying. They did step up in a big way though against the run holding the Broncos to just sixty rushing yards the entire game.
Just like with the defensive line, the linebackers have not been able to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis this season. In a pass happy league this team needs to be able to get more pressure on the QB’s. They have been playing better in run defense as the season has progressed, and they are not a complete liability in pass coverage.
The loss of shutdown cornerback Aqib Talib is starting to rear its head. Troy Hill was targeted heavily in this game, and has been a liability in pass coverage. It would be advantageous to start getting safety Sam Shields more involved. The only saving graces were John Johnsons red zone interception, and Marcus Peters starting to regain his old form.
Kick returner Jojo Natson has been a pleasant surprise for Rams fans this year who may have been worried about losing ace returner Pharoh Cooper due to injury. Former Chief Cairo Santos has played well in relief of the injured kicker Greg Zuerlein. Johnny Hekker is still the best punter in the league.
McVay, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and John Fassel are alway able to find ways to put their players in the best possible position to succeed, and so far it has shown- the Rams are the only undefeated team left.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org