The Los Angeles Rams game against the Texans was a brother of their matchup against the Giants. Going into the game, the vast majority of viewers knew what was going to happen. The Rams were going to win big and the game would be over quickly. With the exception of some garbage-time heroics by Davis Mills, the game went exactly as planned. However, some players didn’t have the day they expected to have, for better or worse. Here is a look at some of the winners and losers from Week 8’s game against the Houston Texans.
Los Angeles Rams Winners And Losers: Week 8
Another week, another big win for Matthew Stafford. In the victory, Stafford threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns. It was a great game for Stafford but a massive milestone for the season. With the three touchdowns, Stafford has 22 touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. In terms of touchdown passes, Stafford has now already eclipsed his total number of touchdowns in 2019, 2018, and 2012 and is tied with the number of touchdowns in 2014. At the moment, Stafford only needs to throw 20 more touchdowns to have set a new personal record for touchdown passes in a season. In 2011, he threw for 41 touchdowns. Nearing the midway mark with 21 touchdowns, he has a great shot at beating his record.
Cooper Kupp is the best wide receiver in the NFL this season. On Sunday, Kupp caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. To date, the ex-Eastern Washington player has 63 catches for 924 yards and 10 touchdowns. Nearing the midway point of the season, Kupp is in range of reaching a mind-boggling 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. As long as he can stay healthy, the wide receiver has a shot at setting a new franchise record for yards in a season. According to Pro Football Reference, Isaac Bruce set the record in 1995 with 1,781 yards, well within the range for Kupp.
Aaron Donald had a quiet game against his old quarterback last week. However, he was anything but quiet in this week’s game against the Texans. He had 1.5 sacks in the game. Of course, one cannot mention Aaron Donald post-Von Miller‘s acquisition without mentioning the new pass-rush duo. With the addition of Von Miller, Donald is only going to get more single blocking opportunities. Between him, Miller, and Leonard Floyd, the defensive tackle could find a new gear he hasn’t hit in 2021. Looking forward, he could be set up to get 10 or more sacks in the second half of the season.
John Wolford saw some garbage time in another blowout win, and once again, the backup quarterback showed that his positive showing in 2020 was simply taking defenses by surprise. He completed one pass for five yards in the game. For Wolford to hold onto his job in 2022, he’s going to need to show more when he gets his next garbage-time shot. Otherwise, Bryce Perkins may get some time this season in relief of Wolford.
Tyler Higbee won the battle for the starting tight end spot against Gerald Everett in what many thought was a career-changing win. Everett joined the Seahawks and many expected Higbee to soak up Everett’s targets and have a breakout season. Instead, the tight end has stayed in his place as an average tight end. Sunday’s game was one more piece of evidence proving this. On a 38-point day, Higbee had three catches for 25 yards. He has 30 catches for 273 yards and two touchdowns near the midway point. Higbee will be hoping to be used more against the Titans next week.
The Rams have an explosive offense and a suffocating defense, but their Achilles Heel is clearly their special teams. Between last week’s struggles against the Lions and this week’s struggles against the Texans, it seems that opponents should simply attempt onside kicks and fake punts against the Rams. Considering their odds of success and the odds that the Rams are going to score anyway, why not do this? The special teams’ struggles have luckily been inconsequential in the win column, but these mistakes could cost the Rams against tougher teams. It needs to be fixed quickly.