The Los Angeles Rams are looking much more mortal in 2022 than they were at this point in 2021. After getting blasted by the Buffalo Bills and surviving the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons, it is clear the team still has plenty of work to do.
However, a win’s a win and it can be used as the first little swing of momentum towards the top speed the team wants to hit. Usually, a win makes it tough to find the losers from the contest, meaning those players that saw their careers negatively impacted by what happened on Sunday.
However, this week, there are multiple names that need to step up in subsequent weeks. With that said, here’s a look at some of the big winners and losers from the Rams Week 2 win.
Los Angeles Rams Winners and Losers: Week 2 feat. Cam Akers
At running back, the 2021 campaign was about the struggle between the replacements for Cam Akers, who missed almost the entire year. Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson were the main characters of the Rams running back story. With Michel now gone, Henderson and Akers are locked in a struggle for starting duties.
According to ESPN’s depth chart, Henderson is technically the starter. However, Cam Akers saw five more carries than Henderson. That said, Henderson was still able to earn more yards than Akers and get a touchdown on fewer carries. In the battle for the lone starting role, Henderson got a big win against the Falcons.
Cooper Kupp had a rare fumble in Week 2, but the Rams best wide receiver still had a final stat line that most receivers would trade for at a moment’s notice. He had 14 targets for 11 receptions, 108 yards, and two touchdowns. Of course, the fumble cannot be ignored, but two touchdowns and more than 100 yards make it a clear net positive as he continues to prove that he was worth his massive extension signed in the offseason.
Tyler Higbee put together a solid stat line in the game against the Falcons. He caught seven passes for 71 yards in the game. While it was nothing earth-shattering, as a tight end that has earned around 550 yards per season over the last two years, those stats put him on a pace to shatter those numbers. Perhaps this could be the start of what many anticipated last year when he was expected to explode after Gerald Everett was sent packing.
While Henderson won the day, Cam Akers lost it. In 15 carries, he earned 44 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Henderson averaged 4.7 yards per carry on ten carries, earning 47 total yards. It is a bad look for Akers. He’ll need to pick it up quickly or he could lose his extra opportunities to Henderson, digging himself a hole he might not be able to climb out of.
Brandon Powell might have had the worst day overall. He had one kick return for 15 yards, but also had a -26-yard rush. Of course, the -26-yard rush was by design to burn clock late in the game. However, it wasn’t Cam Akers or Darrell Henderson that took the snap. It was Powell, meaning it was clear that he was the most expendable on the team, which is a tough spot to be in.
At the end of the year, the -26-yard rush will not be completely ignored based on the context of the moment and will be at least somewhat factored into the total of his production. Sure, it might be partly written off. Those in Rams HQ may even tell themselves that they will be writing it off. However, in the end, it will loom large on his final totals at the end of the year.