Los Angeles Rams: Post-Week Two Stock Up, Stock Down

by Jason Tyra
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The Los Angeles Rams have two weeks under their belt. Two weeks and two wins. Two NFC East opponents faced and two NFC East opponents defeated.  One at Sofi one on the road. One on the west coast and one on the east coast. The point is the Rams are doing fantastic no matter the setting, place, or time.

The offense is doing an incredible job mixing in the run and pass. Kevin O’Connell and Sean McVay have put together two great game plans that have worked to perfection.  Brandon Staley’s defense is humming along as well.  He is making great half-time adjustments which have given up a minuscule total one field goal per second half.  With a win like this, there are a lot of players who’s stock is rising.  Stock down is a few slim pickings and rightfully so after today’s performance.  That said I will address a couple of thoughts.

Stock Up

RB Darrell Henderson Jr.

During the Cowboy game, Darrell Henderson saw limited action.  That may have been more of the case this week had it not been for RB Cam Akers suffering a first-quarter rib injury.  Henderson made the most of his opportunity showing the flash and break away skill he displayed at Memphis.  Going 81 yards on 12 carries and a touch down he did it all.  Henderson broke a long of 40 that could have gone for a TD had he not been cautious with his hamstring. Along with his runs, he also caught 2 balls for 40 yards.  He broke tackles, had great vision and patience with a good burst.

The running back by committee seems to be working like a charm.  With Akers hurt, there wasn’t a drop in production at all between Henderson and Brown.  With Akers back, it will be a fun toy chest for McVay to play with and today showed that Darrell Henderson is going to be a significant cog in that RB machine.

QB Jared Goff

Mr. Goff had a fantastic game, 20 of 27 for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns for a rating of 142.1.  That is what we in the biz call not too shabby.  He opened the game connecting on his first 13 attempts which happens to be the best opening so far this year, even beating out Russell Wilson‘s 12 in a row.  He was accurate, smart, and in complete control.  His accuracy was on point whether in the pocket or on one of the many designed rollouts.  I have been impressed with his poise and the work he has done in the offseason.  The time spent at 3DQB is paying off as he seems to be in a different mindset, way calmer, and in control. His only real miss was an overthrow to Darrell Henderson that if connected would have been yet another touchdown.

After a subpar year in 2019, it looks like he has not only regained his high producing form but is taken the mantle of ownership of the offense.  Again only two weeks’ worth of film, but should he continue this trend next week against Buffalo, and I believe he will, the Rams opponents will be in for a rough ride.

TE Tyler Higbee

Higbee crushed it the last five games of the 2019 season.  It was historic, but some criticized that it was against dirt poor defensive play against TEs ranking near the bottom.  Well, his stock is still on the rise – not to mention putting smiles on fantasy owners – as he collected a career-high 3TDs! Altogether he had 54 yards on 5 catches.  That included all his targets; 5 Targets 5 catches, 3TDs is how you get the job done!  With Gerald Everett dealing with a back issue, Higbee was as rock-solid.  His last touchdown went for 28 yards so not all dinks and dunks showing versatility.

If he keeps up his production it is very much going to be a case of pick your poison in who to cover.  Should he stay healthy and the 12 personal stays mixed in Tyler Higbee will be a top 5 TE by year’s end.

ILB Micah Kiser

Kiser had a mixed bag in week one.  He had issues with angels and broken tackles.  This week was a very different story correcting both.  Kiser Racked up a massive 16 tackles, 11 solo, and a forced fumble on Eagles RB Miles Sanders in their opening drive of the game.  The William V Campbell trophy winner showed his intelligence diagnosing plays and being in the position to make them.  He was a tackling machine at Virginia and very well could be one for the Rams if today’s game is any indication.  His sideline to sideline still is still suspect against faster players, but it is hard to ignore the production he displayed today.

OLB Leonard Floyd

You aren’t going to see it in the stats but Floyd had a great game.  He set the edge up on running plays all day funneling them back inside.   There was a couple of times I saw him do this and an Eagle back was immediately gobbled up by Kiser and Co.  His one tackle did come at a great time.  After scoring their first TD and the Rams already at 21 to 3, The Eagles decided to go for two.  Miles Sanders took the pitch right and FLoyd made an emphatic tackle keeping him out of the end zone.

With the Bears, he ended up being a great run defender even though he was initially drafted as a pass rusher.  He has the length that Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley covets and is using it to the full so far.  If he can add a few sacks along the way that will be the cherry on his cake.

Stock Down

K Samuel Sloman

For the second weekend in a row, rookie kicker Samuel Sloman finds himself here.  He actually had a decent game, making one field goal and all but one of his attempts for extra points.  It is that one attempt that was missed which is the issue.  His kicking trajectory is too low and ended up getting blocked.  He was noted by Chris Collinsworth last week about having low kicks.  As it turns out the Eagles did their homework with the one block.  Not sure if this can be corrected to a degree where it won’t affect his accuracy,  but he will need to address it if this turns out to be a problem.

Also, 3 of his kickoffs were returned. He was noted in training camp to have great lengths on kickoffs to prevent this from happening.  To his defense, the wind was whipping around Lincoln Financial Field.  Again with a 37 – 19 win, nitpicks.

Defensive Front and Edge Pressure

After Washington’s 8 sack performance against Carson Wentz, Aaron Donald had to be licking his chops in anticipation. Obviously, the Eagles adjusted the game plan for quicker releases.  Even so, there was hardly any pressure and zero sacks on Wentz. He had a clean pocket pretty much all day, no push up the middle, nor any real threat from the edge.  After next week’s game, Terrell Lewis will be allowed to resume play and the rookie could be a threat from the edge. As of now, there is just no outside threat.  Samson Ebukam is getting stonewalled so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of a mix in personal maybe, even more, Jachai Polite. With Aaron Donald commanding so much attention there should be more pressure.

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