The Los Angeles Rams had quite the response after last week’s disappointing performance and result. Against the Chicago Bears and their very stingy defense, the Rams had a complete game. All three phases worked in concert to a sweet sound of a dominating win. It was a win against not only a team outside the NFC East but a team with an at the time 5 – 1 record. Not winning outside of the NFC East has had some to question how good are the Rams.
There was a lot to like and a lot to place in the stock up as some players were outstanding. In the same vein, I had to put some thought into stock down, ahem, kicker.
Usually, a punter would be on in this section after a bad team performance but quite the contrary. It is just undeniable to not mention him first. The Bears have a great defense with the ability to keep their team in a game so field position is highly important. Johnny Hekker was outstanding! He consistently pinned the Bears deep in their territory. He had 5 punts and all five he pinned them behind the 10-yard line. One of those was on the 1-yard line.
Most of the punts were of the near midfield variety but one he bombed. It was a 63 yarder that the coverage team got again near the goal line. Not only was it deep but all of the punts had no returns. He had an outstanding night and subsequently has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hekker has proved over and over through the years how valuable he is to the team. The offense, as much as they like to, will not score on every possession. When that happens it is punter Johnny Hekker that will deflate any momentum a team may get by making a stop. He is one heck of a weapon and part of a complete team win.
Floyd got to play against his old team and the effort was obvious. He wanted to prove the Bears wrong for not keeping him on the 5th year option making them pay. He had 6 tackles and 2 sacks. His motor was high with nitrous all night long.
Floyd has been known as an edge setter against the run it is what is strong about his game. Brandon Staley knows this and is not putting extra pressure on Floyd. In a way that has let him excel. He is getting to the QB and taking pressure off of Aaron Donald from time to time.
I wouldn’t expect him to get sacks every week but giving 100% effort, yes! He is having a very good year and this last game was a prime example of his play.
Unfortunately, this will be the only time this year that safety Terrell Burgess will be on the stock up section. He suffered a broken ankle in the match and will be out for the rest of the year. That is really unfortunate because he had quite a game leading up to that point.
He made quick reads and sure tackles on two different plays that had Twitter buzzing. Much like fellow rookie Jordan Fuller, he gave a shot in the arm with those plays. He is a smart player and it will be a shame that he is out for the year.
Had he not been hurt I am certain I would be writing his name a lot in Stock Up. Here is hoping for a full recovery and a return to 2021.
TE Johnny Mundt
Known mostly as a really good blocker in the run game, Mundt showed sure hands and tackle-breaking ability. He caught all three of his targets and had a very nice run after the catch on his long of 34 yards almost making it a touchdown.
After hearing the news that Tyler Higbee was a no-go a lot of people thought rookie tight end Brycen Hopkins would get some snaps. Johnny Mundt had other ideas. The Rams have an abundance of really good tight ends in their squad and Johnny is no slouch. This might be a one-week only time being here, but it’s good to know that if need be he can perform handsomely.
WR Robert Woods
Robert Woods didn’t have a bad game outside of one goof. He did have 3 catches on 5 targets for 22 yards and 4 rushes for 23 yards. It is just that he has had a quiet couple of weeks. No touchdowns and having less than 25 yards in receiving is not particularly stellar. He does do the little things, an outstanding blocker and if selfless, I would just like to see a bit more production as he is very much capable of it.
He did have a fumble that led to the Bears’ only touchdown in a scoop and score. I don’t expect him to be here for any length of time, but it has to be said that he has somewhat disappeared and not taken over games or had big numbers that he is can surely get. This team is selfless so it could be scheming and when you prevail 24 -10 there is not a lot to say constructively, but it has occurred to me that Woods has been in that shadows.
Two Min Drill
The Rams have had bad two-minute drills all year long. There has been more than one instance of a team being a lot closer than they should have due to bad play in the drill due to either a turnover or bad clock management.
Against Chicago, the use of time outs and the heart-stopping almost-int throws by Jared Goff showed the team to be way out of sync. Luckily it was avoided and the Bears did not get the ball back before the half. If it comes down to a team win and the Rams perform like they did it might very well end in an L.
Luckily, and not surprisingly, Coach Sean McVay addressed this in his post-game speech so I suspect it will be getting quite a bit of attention this and in upcoming weeks. In a game that was as good as the Rams played this was definitely a blemish.
Never one to be happy about someone losing his or her job, this will be the last time I have to put kicker Samuel Sloman in the stock down section. The reason is he was let go after yet another blocked field goal.
The Rams brought in kicker Kai Forbath. At first, it was thought since Sloman wasn’t let go after the transaction that it would be a case of lighting a fire under the rookie. Whether that was the case or not it is now Kai Forbath doing the kicking duties. Sloman never was able to raise his trajectory on his kicks. They were all noticeably low and against Chicago, it was the last straw. I hope nothing but the best, but it was time to move on.