The Rams lost their first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday by the score of 55-40. It was an ugly loss at home for Los Angeles. Let’s look at a few bright spots but also the not so bright performances from last Sunday as they prepare to take on Seattle this Thursday.
The Good And The Bad From Sunday’s Loss To The Buc’s
Cooper Kupp continues to show that he is fully recovered from his knee injury. With Sunday’s performance, Kupp leads the team in receptions, targets, yards, and touchdowns. Rams fans must wonder what could’ve been in the Super Bowl if Kupp was available.
Kupp just keeps getting open for the offense. Don’t let the scheme fool you. While this scheme that HC Sean McVay has put together has receivers running wide open most of the time, Kupp is an exceptional route runner. He understands how to beat man and zone and Sunday was no different.
Todd Gurley‘s rushing totals were not impressive on Sunday despite running for two touchdowns, but he did manage to have seven receptions for 54 yards. The numbers were not what made Gurley’s performance a bright spot, as it looked as if Gurley was getting back to the explosive player he was. There are still some concerns long term, but Sunday was a good start. His first touchdown was a thing of beauty. He exploded through the line and ran through Bucs defenders on his way to the end zone. If Gurley can continue to progress week to week, the Rams will surely benefit from it because when healthy, he may be the best RB in the game. Now he just needs to rush the ball more than five times!
Greg Zuerlein, yes kickers matter. Zuerlein connected on all of his kicks on Sunday including a 58 yarder at the end of the first half to bring the Rams within 11 going into the half. Zuerlein continues to come up big when the Rams need him most.
Now we will look at the negative from Sunday and there was plenty of it. Jared Goff threw the ball 68 times on Sunday and that itself is a negative outcome from the game. Even in today’s NFL, throwing the ball 68 times is a recipe for disaster. The offense is built around the running game and the play action off of it. Goff, with his 68 attempts did manage to throw for 517 yards and two touchdowns. However, he turned the ball over four times with three interceptions and one lost fumble, which the latter was the dagger.
Goff just didn’t seem comfortable on Sunday. He was sacked twice, and according to pro football focus, was hurried twelve times and hit eight times by the Bucs defense. Pressure will obviously speed up the clock in a QB’s head, but Goff needs to be better at taking care of the ball.
The entire Rams defense deserves criticism after that performance. They gave up 48 points which does not include the fumble by Goff at the end of the game that was returned for a TD by former Ram Ndamukong Suh.
The key stat from Sunday was that the Bucs were 8-13 on third down. The Rams defense could not make a stop when they had too. They lost the possession-down battle as the Bucs defense held the Rams offense to only 4-11 on third down.
The secondary for the Rams allowed Jameis Winston to carve them up for over 385 yards through the air. Wade Phillips is going to have nightmares about this performance for a long time. Chris Godwin, while he is a budding superstar, carved up the defense for twelve catches, good enough for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was flat out terrible on Sunday and they need to turn it around.
The Rams head into a crucial early-season matchup on a short week on the road in Seattle against the Seahawks.