There is nothing sweeter than victory on a Monday night. Especially after taking down a divisional rival who came into the contest sporting the bets record in football. This is indeed what the Los Angeles Rams were able to achieve on Monday in Arizona, as they exacted revenge on divisional foe the Arizona Cardinals, and have now inched closer on retaking the NFC West away from the leaders.
The Rams display was exceptional on nearly all accounts as they are back to their winning ways and now riding high on a two-game winning streak, which followed a three-game skid in which the Rams were possibly in the midst of an identity crisis, this due to so many injuries and new names added to the roster in such a short span of time.
With this key Week 14 victory, let’s dive into players whose stocks either soared or plummeted after this matchup.
None of the secondary was exactly “spectacular” as Kyler Murray went for almost 400 yards. Red zone blunders contributed to him not throwing a touchdown pass more than the ability of the secondary. The Los Angeles Rams had their hands full ahead of this contest though, as star corner Jalen Ramsey was declared out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Rams had to unleash the rest of the cornerback unit which has been shaken at best this season.
Kareem Orr was thrown into a difficult spot, but underwhelmed. He allowed 66 yards in coverage on six targets, and graded out with a PFF grade of 28.1. Hopefully with the return of Ramsey, Orr will not be depended on very much going forward.
Someone’s haters are surely silent today. Well, this would be the case when talking about Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Coming off three straight rough displays, Stafford rebounded with a dazzling Week 14 performance. However, the naysayers were still critical in droves over the veteran quarterback as he put showcased against a putrid Jacksonville Jaguars team.
After Monday, Stafford can truly exclaim “how do you like me now?!” Stafford shredded the Arizona Cardinals defense to the tune of nearly 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He showed that he can lead this Rams team to key victories, and all of that talk about lack of competition will surely be put to rest now.
Stafford looked comfortable throughout the game and found six different receivers during the game. It also seems that Stafford and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are finally developing some on-field chemistry as the veteran receiver looks to replace the injured Robert Woods.
If anyone’s stock is surely on the rise after this win, it is indeed John Matthew Stafford.
It may be time for everyone to admit the best wide receiver in the league plays for the Los Angeles Rams.
Kupp was marvelous against the Cardinals as he hauled in a career high 13 receptions and went for over 100 yards. Monday’s performance put him over 200 yards over the next receiver in all of football.
The former Eastern Washington product was unstoppable as the Cardinals could do nothing to stop Kupp. His route running and ability to continue to find open space in the secondary was on display nearly every down. He proved time and time again that there is no true answer to stopping the Los Angeles Rams receiver.
With 113 receptions, almost 1500 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns, it may just be time to truly start calling Kupp a dark horse MVP candidate.
The talented pass rusher had been quiet as of late. His fellow defensive teammates were getting more shine than him. Floyd had been kept in check for much of the second half of this season — at least until Monday night.
He was a force in pass rushing and coverage and stopping the run game. Floyd tied for second in tackles on the night, and even provided a key interception. The Rams edge rusher was the second highest graded defender according to PFF. He had a grade of 86.1, just behind Aaron Donald.
The Los Angeles Rams will continue to need Floyd to put on these kind of displays if they have any chance of retaking the NFC West crown or making the playoffs. Leonard Floyd was a key disruptor in this contest and he may be getting back to his surging performances of the first half of the season.