The Los Angeles Rams were the heavy betting favorite in the Sunday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans were entering the matchup without their top performer in running Derrick Henry, who was out for the game due to injury.
If games were played on paper, the Rams sitting at 7-1 entering the contest would have surely got the victory over the Titans who entered the contest not too far behind at 6-2. However, this was not the case as the Titans defense played a huge role in the 28-16 loss for the Rams.
With such an overall meltdown of a performance – let’s look at some key players whose stock either soared or plummeted in this contest.
A change of scenery for Stafford has so far paid huge dividends in the revival of his career. The veteran quarterback has been putting up MVP numbers on a consistent basis and has been a key catalyst for a Los Angeles Rams offense that ranks top-five in yards and points. Facing a middling defense in the Titans, the expectation for Stafford was that he would put on a performance reminiscent of his first eight games as a Ram, but what we got instead was almost un-Stafford like.
Throwing a disastrous interception to avoid a safety, it would result in an easy Titans touchdown on the next drive, he followed the embarrassing interception with another one, this time a pick-six that saw the Rams go down 14-3 and dig a hole the team would never climb out of.
He struggled all night, and never truly got the Rams even into contention in this matchup. His lone touchdown pass was merely consolation late in the fourth quarter as the game was well out of hand at that point. After such a horrific outing, the stock on one of the best quarterbacks in the 2021 season currently is trending down, the hope is that he can pick things back up in the Monday night matchup against the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers.
Cooper Kupp continued his tear as the leading receiver in yards for the season and nearly put up 100 more on 11 catches. However, much of his damage was done when the game was certainly out of hand. Despite having three less catches, and only three more yards than Kupp, Woods was indeed the top receiver in this game.
Not only did he nearly put up 100 yards receiving, but he also was one of the best blockers for the Los Angeles Rams in this one. According to PFF, he earned a run blocking grade of 90.7. He also added six yards on the ground. Woods was a consistent threat on nearly every drive, and the Titans had a tough job trying to stop the do-it-all receiver.
Woods was a glimmer of hope for what was overall an appalling performance from the Rams offense. The aim here is that Woods stock will continue to rise as the Rams face a 49ers team that seems to be trending down. With that said, they somehow always tends to give the Rams headaches whenever they face off.
Rams Offensive Line
Let’s first get the positive out of the way, left tackle Andrew Whitworth was spectacular in this one. He did not allow one pressure and finished with a PFF grade of 82.4. Now with Whitworth out of the way, let’s address the bad. Although Stafford did himself no favors, this offensive line played a huge role in his lethargic performance.
The Los Angeles Rams offensive line allowed five sacks and Stafford was constantly pressured in this game. It is hard to pinpoint who exactly was the worst of the bunch. Outside of Whitworth, they all were simply not at the level they’ve been at all season. The Titans pass rush was led by defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons, who had three sacks alone.
The Rams offensive line was continuously outmuscled in this game on nearly every possession. Stafford was under duress all night. If anyone’s stock should be plummeting, it surely is this offensive line. They need to get things together as they are facing a dangerous defensive line in Nick Bosa and the 49ers next week.
The 26-year-old outside linebacker has not played many snaps so far in his career. However, this season, he’s played well in a rotational role with Terrell Lewis. In the meager 18 snaps that Okoronkwo played on Sunday, he was a constant threat on the field. The Rams edge rusher had three pressures and a half sack.
Okoronkwo has been valuable this season when he’s been on the field. After this performance, his stock is surely on the rise. Despite trading for Von Miller, Okoronkwo could warrant some more playing time. Okoronkwo’s 90.8 PFF grade was the highest among all Rams players on Sunday. His stock should continue to rise as he makes the most of what little opportunities he does receive on a week-to-week basis.