While it may have been frustrating to watch at times, the Rams ended up pulling away in the 4th quarter to secure a 37-19 road win over the Eagles. LA moves to 2-0, with a trip to Buffalo next on the docket. LA is now 2-0 for the 3rd straight season. Both the offense and defense came to play today. Who impressed, and who left more to be desired?
The Rams scored 37 points for the first time since Week 7 of last year against the Atlanta Falcons. After scoring a touchdown on the first 3 drives, the offense stalled out and let the Eagles get back in the game. After a slow 3rd quarter, LA put away Philly with a pair of late TDs to secure their first win over them since 2004.
QB Jared Goff had a very impressive day, completing 20/27 passes for 267 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs. Goff started the game with 13 straight completions. Tyler Higbee caught all 3 of Goff’s touchdown passes, setting a new career-high for the stud TE. Newly extended WR Cooper Kupp caught 5 passes for 81 yards but lost a key fumble on a punt return. Other recently extended WR Robert Woods rushed for a TD on an end-around, but didn’t do much other than that through the air. Rookie Van Jefferson snagged 4 passes for 45 yards.
After an early injury to RB Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson stepped up with a career-best performance. The Memphis product ran it 12 times for 81 yards and a TD, while also catching 2 passes for 40 yards. Additionally, he could have caught another touchdown had Goff not slightly overthrown him out of the backfield. It was a very encouraging sign from Henderson, who nearly matched his total yards from all of last season. Malcolm Brown ended up with 11 carries for 47 yards, recording a solid outing. While Akers’ injury hurts, it may have also helped the Rams realize they should be using Darrel Henderson more often. LA ended with 191 rushing yards and 2 TDs, something they haven’t done in the regular season since Week 15 in 2018.
The offensive line played pretty well, only allowing one sack and providing good holes in the run game for the most part. Goff wasn’t under much pressure. One thing to note was LG Joe Noteboom going down with an injury and not returning. David Edwards came in for him and did a solid job. We’re not sure how severe Notebloom’s injury is at the moment.
Much like the offense, the Rams’ defense got off to a hot start, then faltered in the middle section of the game. Again, much like the offense, they turned up the heat in the 4th quarter. In the end, the defense forced 3 turnovers and allowed 363 yards. After allowing 8 sacks to Washington last week, the Eagles barely let LA get their hands on Carson Wentz. Aside from a few key pressures, the pass rush was disappointing. To their credit, Philly held Aaron Donald in check. They took a page from the Rams’ playbook from last week, by throwing quick passes to nullify the pass rush. The secondary gave up lots of catches underneath but didn’t allow any big plays to happen.
Micah Kiser had a fantastic game, totaling 16 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup. The former Indiana Hoosier is looking great after finally being healthy. CBs Troy Hill and Darious Williams both notched interceptions in the 2nd half. Jordan Fuller, fresh off a big performance last week, was 2nd on the team with 9 combined tackles.
The special teams unit didn’t really have an impact on the game, which usually isn’t a bad thing. Aside from a blocked PAT, kicker Sam Sloman made all of his attempts (1/1 FG, 4/5 PAT). P Johnny Hekker punted twice for 96 yards, with a touchback and a punt inside the 20. PR Cooper Kupp fumbled his only return. We’ll see if the Rams elect to stick with the highly paid WR, or if Nsimba Webster gets the job.
Next week, the Rams will stay on the east coast and take on the Buffalo Bills. The Bills just beat Miami, 31-28, to move to 2-0, so this will be a battle of undefeated teams. Buffalo’s defense is normally stout but didn’t look like it against a lowly Dolphins offense. Be on the lookout for a game preview from yours, truly!