The Rams won their fourth game of the season against the Washington Football team. This puts them with a record of 4 and 1 leading into next week’s in-division match against the San Francisco 49ers. This was a complete performance from all sides, and a lot of bright spots even considering the competition. Under less than ideal conditions with a heavy rainstorm, each side excelled and did not let the elements stop them. As always there were standouts and only one downer.
ILB Troy Reeder.
Troy Reeder has been a punching bag of Rams fans online. He did start to have issues covering which is self admittedly not his strong suit. Thanks to a scheme tweak by defensive coordinator Brandon Staley Reeder had a heck of a day. Racking up 3 sacks along with his 11 total tackles 8 of which were solo he was pretty dominant. He used the line in front of him and his tenacity to reach Washington’s QB on the 3 different occasions. Whether or not those were gimmie sacks he took advantage none the less.
Playing closer to the line he definitely excelled. Even though in the coverage issues the Rams were content in giving up those plays. It was the switch to being closer that opened up his game. Should he continue to get time from injury or other means it should be a common sight to see him crowd the line. In this game, he did it exceptionally.
Now whether or not his stock remains on the rise will be up in the air, but for now, he is looking up.
Gerald Everett was the top pass catcher for the day. He hauled in 4 catches for 90 yards. He was elusive and ran downhill using his size to punish the secondary. With Washington putting a premium on keeping Tyler Higbee from wrecking their shop it was the other TE who did just that. Beyond his pass play the pass protection was stable, something he has struggled with in the past.
Now whether his performance is consistent will be hard to tell. Primarily due to the Rams not being shy to change their top target based on who they are facing. A good problem to have. That said when he does get his shots I expect him to continue to perform at a high level.
RB Cam Akers
Cam Akers returned to action after suffering a separated rib cartilage injury in the second week. He was eased into action but ran hard on his 9 attempts. One of those attempts went for 46 yards and could have gone for a touchdown had it not been for a stupid fast Montez Sweat. He showed elusive ability as well as slipping through tackles. He looks to be getting back to why he was taken in the 2nd round of this year’s draft.
Next week all three backs will be healthy for the first time so it will be interesting to see who gets the hot hand and the majority of carries. In any event, Akers will be a dangerous weapon.
Jordan Fuller returned to action after missing a game with a shoulder injury. The defense with him seems to be a different animal. They come across as much more confident. He had 4 tackles, 3 solos, but it was his presence that gave the defense a backend thumper. It is wild to think that a 6th round pick could be not just a contributor, but a solid piece of the defense. His play leads to bursting the team with energy. Solid hit tackles seem to be the order of the day. I would not be surprised to see a lot of 32 jerseys once fans are allowed in Sofi.
Unfortunately, on the very last defensive play, one of those solid tackles reinjured his shoulder and has since been put on the short term 3 game IR. Hopefully, that will give him enough time to fully heal and go all out.
With such a complete game there was only one person that I thought deserved the stock down moniker. That person seems to be in a permanent position on this side of the column. Sloman missed an extra point after the Rams’ first touchdown.
It is starting to become a trend where he will miss something once a week. That is dangerous. The kicks he does make are rarely in the middle. They all seem to squeak by. His kick-offs also tend to be on the shorter side allowing way too many returns. Given this was a reason for his winning out the position over the other two in camp he isn’t warming up any fans.
The feeling of dread every time he lines up to kick should not be there, but it is. There is no confidence that he is going to make his kick. Instead when he lines up the index and middle fingers across Rams land are crossing each other. His only saving grace is that he hasn’t been in a position to win or lose the game at the end.
If he is not let go I suspect McVay will be going for it quite a bit on 4th downs. A stark contrast from years past when if the Rams made it passed the 50-yard line they would send out Greg Zuerlein and the teams and their fans were confident he would hit it and it would be dead center of the goalposts.