The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a tougher-than-expected win over the Indianapolis Colts. While the team may have won as a unit, some individual pieces had better days than others. Now getting past the first impressions stage of the football season, the days of these players are not quite as impactful on a day-to-day basis, but still build the body of work that will result in the next stage of their careers. Without further ado, here are the winners and losers from Week Two for the Los Angeles Rams.
Los Angeles Rams Winners And Losers: Week Two
Cooper Kupp is playing like the number one receiver for the Rams. Arguably, the trade of Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford has benefited no one better than Kupp. In the game against the Colts, Kupp had 163 yards and two touchdowns with nine receptions. Through two games, Kupp has 16 receptions for 271 yards and three touchdowns. At this rate, he’s on pace for 120 receptions, 2,032 yards, and 22 touchdowns. These numbers seem impossible but with an extra game on the schedule this year, they may be somewhat reachable. If Kupp were to hit these numbers, he would likely be the most productive wide receiver in the NFL this year.
Going into the season, one of the biggest questions surrounding Matthew Stafford was whether he could win in clutch moments with a new team and culture surrounding him. Based on what was seen in the game on Sunday, he started to answer the question. Stafford didn’t throw the killer interception or completely implode once the Colts re-tightened the game. He was calm, poised, and quickly moved the ball down the field when needed. It wasn’t quite a final two-minute drill, but it was the closest look at one thus far. Stafford passed the test with flying colors.
Stafford also had a good game. He threw for 278 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He’s on pace for about 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions, which many would argue to be the best season of his career. He has a long way to go, but he has already been impressive through two games.
Last week, Sony Michel didn’t see the field much. He had only one carry in the game. This week, he was used much more. He had 10 rushes for 46 yards with an 11-yard rush. Of course, Henderson’s injury was partially the reason he was used as much as he was. However, in the NFL, this is how players make a case for themselves. Michel’s starter went down and he showed up prepared. With Henderson’s status potentially in doubt for Week Three, Michel may have a full game with the ball all to himself. It will be up to him to make his pitch for more carries with the Rams.
It doesn’t matter what day the special teams are having. Outside of scoring multiple returning touchdowns, nothing can make up for a botched punt that gives the opponent a free touchdown. It will be up to the unit to fix what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again this season. If it happens again over the next few months, the Rams will be making some changes. They shipped away Jared Goff and they are unafraid to make some moves with the special teams unit if it is going to be a liability.
After such a strong Week One, Darrell Henderson‘s painful Week Two shows how fast things can turn in the NFL. Henderson was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter and his backup was called on. Sean McVay said that Henderson is suffering from a rib cartilage injury and his status for next week’s game is in doubt. For Henderson, the injury is a massive black eye on what was shaping up to be a solid season with breakout potential.
Just two games into his first season as the full-time starter, Henderson’s availability is now something the team has to think about. Henderson was looking at this season as a massive resume-building opportunity. With a good season as a lead back, he could have leverage in contract negotiations. Even if the Rams weren’t interested in paying him, there would likely be a team out there that is. However, after the injury, Henderson has his work cut out for him to prove the injury was a fluke. Henderson’s goal is still to be a 1,000-yard rusher. If he misses Week Three, he’ll have to work that much harder to make up for lost time.
Tyler Higbee ended up winning the grueling position battle that took place over the last several years between him and Gerald Everett. Many saw Everett’s exit as Higbee’s green light to take most of the targets from him and go on to have the best season of his career. Instead, Higbee had one catch for eight yards in Sunday’s game. To date, Higbee has six catches for 76 yards and no touchdowns. At this pace, Higbee is on track to finish the season with 570 yards and no touchdowns. Higbee will need to have a great game next week to get back on track.