Playing in their home opener, the Los Angeles Rams managed to knock off the New Orleans Saints in a relatively easy 27-9 win. The outcome was surely skewed by the loss of quarterback Drew Brees, though the Rams still executed and improved their record to 2-0.
Let’s take a look at four things we learned about the Rams in the week two contest:
1) Cooper Kupp is extremely good
If you watched the first two weeks of the 2019 NFL season and focused only on wide receiver Cooper Kupp, you’d have no idea he tore his ACL half way through the 2018 season. Kupp looks exactly like he did prior to the injury, which is a major issue for defenses across the league. Kupp was a menace against the Saints – as he usually is – registering five receptions for 120 yards on nine targets. Kupp had one of the most impressive plays you’ll ever see as he lined up in the slot to the left, ran a slant that shook cornerback Marshon Lattimore out of his shoes, then proceeded on a tackle-breaking spree that seen him gain 66-yards, going down inches before scoring a touchdown. Kupp is a tremendous talent who has an incredible rapport – which only seems to be growing – with quarterback Jared Goff.
2) Health was an issue in week two
The Rams have been one of the healthiest teams in football over the past two years, though they struggled mightily with health on Sunday as defensive tackle Aaron Donald had a back flare up, right guard Austin Blythe had a bad ankle injury that could put his season in jeopardy, and tight end Tyler Higbee was knocked out of the game with a chest contusion that seen him coughing blood and resulted in a trip to the hospital. Luckily for the Rams, Donald returned to the contest after getting checked out and Higbee’s injury may only keep him out for a short amount of time. The major injury to keep an eye on is the one to Blythe, simply because the Rams don’t have a ton of depth on the offensive line.
3) Jared Goff is beginning to heat up
Jared Goff’s first half was a mixed bag, though he really ramped it up in the second half as he looked sharper and more decisive in his passes. Goff’s first half seen him miss a few passes sandwiched by an absolute dime down the left side of the field on a vertical route to wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Goff also had another perfect pass on the goal line to Cooks for a touchdown on a slant in between multiple Saints defenders. Goff’s statistical output was 19 completions on 28 attempts, 283 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one rushing touchdown.
4) The defense continues to play takeaway football
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips must be pleased with how his defense performed on Sunday, allowing only nine points in the contest. The results were obviously skewed with Brees being knocked out in the first quarter and Teddy Bridgewater playing the rest of the way, though the defense still got the job done. The first two drives with Brees resulted in an interception by safety John Johnson III and a punt, showing just how ready the defense was to play. Rookie safety Taylor Rapp is a player to look out for as the Rams allowed him to play more snaps than starting inside linebacker Bryce Hager. Rapp played a lot of man coverage against tight end Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara, putting forth a fantastic effort in coverage all around.
The Rams have yet to reach their peak in play as this was a relatively sloppy game filled with penalties, a few drops, and some inaccurate passes, yet they still managed to pull off a major victory and improve to 2-0. The Rams look to once again be one of the classes of the NFC as their talent is simply too great for most teams to handle.
The Rams move onto week three for their trip to Cleveland to face the Browns.