The Los Angeles Rams fell to pieces on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers in what could be the worst loss of the season yet. The team’s Super Bowl aspirations took a ding on Monday Night, and any more losses like this will beat those hopes into submission. While the team as a whole seems to just be getting worse with every franchise-changing addition and subsequent loss, some players are still shining through the darkness. Here are the winners and losers from Monday Night Football’s painful loss.
Los Angeles Rams Winners And Losers: Week 11
Put simply, Cooper Kupp is a machine. In Monday’s contest, Kupp caught 11 passes for 122 yards. He still leads the league in yards and is the first one to cross the 1,000-yard mark this season. In fact, he crossed the line last week and is still waiting for the second player to reach 1,000 yards this season. The injury to Robert Woods is terrible news for the Rams, but his absence presents an even better opportunity for Kupp.
Of course, with Odell Beckham Jr. in the mix, Kupp will still have some competition for targets. However, the ex-Eastern Washington player has a much bigger advantage over Beckham than he did with Woods, as Beckham could take weeks to learn the playbook. As a result, Kupp’s odds of setting the franchise record seem to be growing every week.
The Rams simply cannot catch a break on special teams. Something is going catastrophically wrong every single week. The worst mistake this week was the failed fake field goal the didn’t get a first down. At this point, it is clear that something needs to change at the coordinator position. Of course, nothing can be done now, but the special teams could be what knocks the Rams out of the playoffs this year. It could be one of the core causes of the first loss after leading at halftime in Sean McVay’s career.
With the injury to Robert Woods and the pending wait for Beckham to learn the playbook, Ben Skowronek earned a career-high number of targets in this game. However, he gave the Rams a bad first impression under a steady workload as he only caught one of five targets for eight yards. This period is Skowronek’s best chance to prove that he can have a greater role on the team. However, he’s gotten off on the wrong foot. He will need to be better after the bye to have any hopes of convincing the coaching staff of anything this season. Granted, as a rookie, Skowronek has time. That said, one has to take their opportunities in this league or they will slip out of the picture quickly.
Those who’ve been reading these articles for a while probably could have guessed that Matthew Stafford would find himself on the losers list again. Stafford simply looked completely out of his element in this game. He looked lost. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions, bringing his two-week total to two touchdowns and four interceptions. One game is an anomaly. Two games are the start of a pattern. Despite tearing it up for most of the season, Stafford’s back is suddenly against the wall. If he struggles in the first game after the bye, the Rams may have hit a wall they cannot overcome. If this is the case, nothing is guaranteed. Luckily, Stafford has some time to hit the reset button and figure out what is going wrong and make adjustments.
Once again, Darrell Henderson was marginalized in the game and saw Sony Michel nearly match his number of carries. Henderson had five carries and Michel had four carries. Michel averaged 5.0 yards per carry while Henderson averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Granted, Henderson still has the edge, but if Michel hangs around long enough and the Rams start to nosedive, they might be willing to pull any lever they can think of. If this happens, Henderson’s job could fall into a precarious position later this season. Put simply, Henderson needs to break a run soon to resolidify his position on the team and fortify himself in the event of a downturn.