Rams Lose Stafford and Game in New Orleans

The Rams showed signs of life, but couldn't find a win in New Orleans. A look at where it went right and where it went very wrong.

Chauncey Telese
Rams Rookie Running Back Kyren Williams Photo Credit: Sam Weaver | Sam Weaver Photography
Rams Rookie Running Back Kyren Williams Photo Credit: Sam Weaver | Sam Weaver Photography

Another week, another loss. At least this time the Los Angeles Rams weren’t blown out and the offense actually had a pulse. The first-week post-Cooper Kupp injury actually saw ball movement both in the air and on the ground. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and once again the offensive line had to shuffle again and now Matthew Stafford is probably done for the year. He is reentering concussion protocol and even if he’s medically cleared it should absolutely be Bryce Perkins season at this point.

Stafford has taken too much of a beating and there’s absolutely nothing to play for outside of evaluating the younger talent and getting the Lions a top 5 or 10 pick. Had Stafford not gotten hurt they could’ve won this game but alas No Win November continues.

The Rams Positives

It’s not all doom and gloom though because there were some positives today. Not many, but there were some. Stafford (11/18, 159 yards, 2 touchdowns) threw a 62-yard bomb on the opening play of their second drive to Tutu Atwell who took it to the house. Unfortunately, it was his only reception of the day and he still led all receivers in yards. Stafford would later hit Allen Robinson (4 catches 47 yards) on a slant for their last touchdown of the game right before the half. Van Jefferson (3 catches 41 yards) looked like himself again and Lance McCutcheon actually saw the field.

Surprisingly, the running game actually looked functional today. Cam Akers (61 yards) and Kyren Williams (36 yards) looked great today. Williams got to show off his gift for breaking tackles and this is honestly the best Akers has looked since week three. Oddly, Darrell Henderson didn’t get much action and there didn’t appear to be any indication he got hurt.

The offensive line looked decent until Ty Nsekhe got hurt and Bobby Evans had to take over at tackle. Stafford was sacked once but was hit four times before he went to the blue tent. Bryce Perkins (5/10 64 yards passing, 36 yards rushing) looked lively in his quarter and a half of play. It’s too bad the line couldn’t block for him either. He was sacked three times.

On the plus side, there weren’t any turnovers by the offense. So that’s something…

Today was a great day for the “FIRE RAHEEM” sect of fans. The defense, particularly the secondary had a ROUGH game. They allowed Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill to beat them deep which is troubling because the entire point of how they play defense is to avoid the big plays. Chris Olave smoked both Derion Kendrick and Jalen Ramsey for a touchdown in the third that gave the Saints a lead they’d retain for the rest of the game. Olave had 5 catches for 102 yards.

The secondary as a whole was terrible as Taylor Rapp was picked on early and often. The defense also lost A’Shawn Robinson in the second quarter. On the plus side, Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd had two sacks each and they held the Saints to just 88 yards rushing.

They also weren’t able to generate any turnovers and it feels as though they haven’t in months. The pass rush was improved today but it didn’t matter since the secondary did an absolutely abominable job in coverage. It’s fitting that the one day the offense actually shows life the defense has a lousy day. The Rams haven’t put it together once this whole season. Why start now?

Going forward, the Rams should sunset their stars as there is nothing to play for and everyone’s future is murky. Aaron Donald and Stafford could call it quits, Ramsey could get traded, and perhaps McVay replaces the animatronic Kirk Herbstreit that’s calling games on Amazon.

This team is awful this season and sure a lot of it is injury-based, but there are also personnel issues that keep them from making the most of what they’ve got. Today showed that the offense could function without Kupp and they might have struck gold with Kyren Williams. There’s sadly a lot of football left so at the very least Les Snead can get a good look at his roster and see who stays and who goes. Truly, there isn’t much to be thankful for today or this season. Onto Kansas City…

Rams Rookie Running Back Kyren Williams Photo Credit: Sam Weaver | Sam Weaver Photography
Rams Rookie Running Back Kyren Williams Photo Credit: Sam Weaver | Sam Weaver Photography