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

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The Los Angeles Rams returned from their bye to face the divisional challenge of the Seattle Seahawks and their vaunted offense led by QB Russell Wilson.  The Rams ended up victorious with their smothering defense.  The Seahawks WRs were very much a non-factor.  Rams showed a passion that was missing in their last game against Miami.  The three-headed attack in the backfield was in full effect.  Goff was efficient, and the line held up well even with the departure of Captain Andrew Whitworth to injury.

A lot of praise was worthy to go around.  With that said lets delve into who’s stock continues to rise and who has fallen for the week.  Spoiler warning there may or may not be a kicker on the downside.

Stock Up

CB Darious Williams

Darious Williams is going to be a household name if he isn’t getting there already.  His play has been phenomenal.   Being the opposite side of Jalen Ramsey you are going to get targeted.  Williams was more than up for the challenge.  He ended up with 1 tackle, 2 interceptions, and 3 passes defensed.  One of those PDs was a gorgeous jump and tip in the end zone knocking the ball away.  It was a perfectly timed jump accompanied with great awareness of the receiver and the help around him.

Darious Williams has been doing this all year, but against the number one offense in the NFL there might have been doubt, had he met his match, would his game suffer?  It doesn’t matter who you are Williams will blanket you and give his team the shot of energy with his takeaways.  So the Seahawks were no different.  He has some, if not, the best hands in the cornerback position that I have seen.  He is and continues to rise up in the ranks of well known CBs.  Not crazy to think maybe to rival his counterpart in play.

OLB Leonard Floyd

NFC Defensive Player of the Week Leonard Floyd was all over the place.  Recording 3 sacks along with his 5 tackles and a fumble recovery.  He was brought in to seal the edge and help in the run game.  He has done that in spades, but with the help of the best player in football DT Aaron Donald he has shined in getting after the QB.

All through the game the number 54 was on the screen around the football.  He was a terror for the Seahawks making life miserable for Russell Wilson.  He has been a standout all year and under defensive coordinator, Brandon Staley has excelled in all facets of his game.  He has been consistent and brutal.  With smiles on his face after sacks, one can tell he is really enjoying himself.  Watching him play has been a pleasure this year and this week was a standout!

CB Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey has been as advertised.  A shutdown corner who takes away the top WR of who he is playing.  D.K. Metcalf is a monster receiver.  He ended up with a whopping 2 catches for 28 yards.  With his size and speed, he tends to bully corners but Ramsey is not one to be bullied, quite the opposite.

He nullified Metcalf and turned him invisible.  More impressively was he did it without the showboating he was known for in Jacksonville.  Ramey is a highly intelligent player and knows not to stir the nest to make things harder on himself.  All week he underplayed the matchup between himself and Metcalf.  During the game, however, he let his play do all the talking and it had a ton to say.

RB by Committee

This was the first game that showcased the three-headed monster of Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown used to the fullest.  There was a nice flow and compliment to each back.  Mixing it up no one had any breakaways, but they were consistent and again complimented each other very well.  Having all three give a different aspect to their game the offense can use it in creative ways.

It remains to be seen if this will continue in the following weeks, or if the Rams will tend to lean on back more than other, but for this game they made it work seamlessly and effectively.  At no point was there a feeling of jittering, or pitch count, which is a welcome feeling to many a Rams fan.  Having so many chess pieces makes it a fun board for McVay to play.

Stock Down

WR Van Jefferson

This is odd place for Jefferson to be and admittedly not his fault, entirely.  It could be a situation of pre-hype from training camp.  All through camp Van Jefferson was the name most often mentioned with being impressed by teammates and coaches alike.   For whatever reason, this just hasn’t translated to game time usage.

He seems to have an incredible toe-tapping side out catch once per game.  Once he gets that catch that is it.  He is put up for the night.  Now it is hard to break playing time from the likes of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.  Strangely though, and a good problem to have,  Josh Reynolds has been targeted a lot.  He was the one most thought would be phased out for the rookie to get his playing time.  Instead, he was the top target and has been for a couple weeks.

Jefferson has fantastic route-running skills, and the ability to get separation, but he just is not being targeted.  There was a belief that maybe Reynolds was being showcased for possible trade bait.  Not the case, as the trade deadline has come and gone.  He is just getting looks and that is taking time away from the rookie.  I believe he will shine more down the line in the season but for now, he seems to be a one and done player.  One catch and your out.

K Kai Forbath

When kicker Sam Sloman was let go it was supposed to be a feeling of relaxation.  Cobra Kai was going to save the day, make the basic kicks and not give everyone a heart attack when he trotted on the field.  Two games later it is not the case.  He has been horrible.  His kicks look uglier then a backwoods hillbilly.  As it turned out he left with ankle issues and is now on IR.

Not sure if the Rams have some type of Spinal Tap drummer curse on their kickers but so far it has been very hard to watch.  Seeing the Seahawks Jason Myers hit all of his kicks including a 61 pretty much down the middle left a bad taste in Rams fans mouths.  There was a time not long ago when they had a kicker who could boom it from that distance and you didn’t worry much.   With Greg the Leg’s departure the void left has not been filled.  Although it would be nice the Rams don’t need an outstanding kicker, but asking for a competent one shouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.

So far this year it hasn’t cost a game directly but there will be a point when the game is on the line and the Rams have a chance to win by a field goal or tie-up with an extra point.  Hopefully, they will have someone who can do that and not force the team to either punt inside the 50 or go for two due to lack of confidence.  Next week against the Bucs it should be interesting to see if it finally can be corrected.

 

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