The Rams faced off against the Seahawks in a Tuesday night football game and came out with a big divisional win. A dominant defensive performance along with another great performance from Cooper Kupp sealed the victory for LA. It wasn’t exactly the cleanest win for the Rams this season, but let’s break down the Good, the Bad, and the Meh of their win.
Kupp added yet another great game to his already dominant season. With his 136 yards Tuesday night, he’s the only WR in NFL history to have 90+ Receiving Yards in 10 straight games. He was by far the Rams’ best offensive player this game and as usual, was a reliable target for Stafford. The Seahawks are the NFL’s worst pass defense in terms of yards given up and Kupp took full advantage. For reference, Minnesota ranks 29th, so Kupp should have another weak pass defense to take advantage of.
Jalen Ramsey & Aaron Donald
Los Angeles’ two defensive cornerstones showed out and made big impacts on Tuesday. Jalen Ramsey locked down DK Metcalf and only allowed 2 catches for 21 yards. He also made an impact as a DB and helped the secondary hold the Seattle passing attack to just 156 total yards. Aaron Donald was his usual game-wrecking self and pressured Russell Wilson all night. Even though he only had 1 sack, he made Wilson uncomfortable in the pocket, and opened lanes up for Von Miller and Leonard Floyd.
Jones had the honor of wearing the green dot (defensive play-caller) on Tuesday and had a solid performance. He led the team with 11 tackles and did a good job stopping the run. He’s been building upon a solid rookie year, and has been starting in place of Troy Reeder for the last 3 weeks. As he gets more playing time, he should continue to be a solid starter for the rest of the year.
Gay had a great game and put up nearly half of the offense’s points. He’s been automatic this year and the best option the Rams have had at kicker recently. He’s made 19 straight kicks which leads the NFL currently, and has only missed 2 kicks all season. Gay has been a bright spot on a below average special teams unit this year, and is only signed through the end of this season. The Rams will definitely need to lock him down for the foreseeable future this offseason.
Out of all the good performances Tuesday night, the offensive line didn’t meet the mark. They allowed 6 QB hits and 4 sacks from a Seattle defense that ranks 27th in sacks per game. Rob Havenstein’s replacement, Bobby Evans, didn’t have the best performance. The offensive line will need to up their game against a Minnesota team that ranks 1st in sacks per game (3.1).
Stafford was either making highlight level throws or some pretty questionable ones. There were a couple of really impressive tight window throws that were nearly interceptions. Stafford did have a pick from his former teammate Quandre Diggs, and a dropped one from Poona Ford, but still played a decent game. He’s still 2nd in passer rating and 3rd in QBR, but good offensive line play will be needed to help him finish strong.
LA looks to clinch a playoff spot next week at Minnesota, and has all it needs with Stafford at the helm. In his 21 games versus Minnesota, Stafford has 31 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and 5,176 passing yards.
Any pass catcher not named Cooper Kupp didn’t flash on the stat sheet. The leader receiver after Kupp was Ben Skowronek with 42 yards. The loss of Robert Woods has impacted this team and without a reliable #2, Stafford has spread the ball around more. Overall, it wasn’t a terrible game from the pass catchers, but either Van Jefferson or OBJ needs to step up.
Sony Michel has seemingly taken over the reigns to the Rams’ backfield and had a decent performance against the Hawks. He’s a very physical RB and it certainly showed, as he gashed the Seahawks for 5.1 YPC. Henderson just isn’t built for a workhorse role, and his injury history shows that. As the season finishes, expect there to be a 70/30 split between Michel and Henderson, with the possibility of Akers returning for the playoffs.
Overall, this was a good division win to extend their current win streak to 3 in a row. They’ll now travel to face Minnesota who just beat the Bears in prime time. Minnesota ranks 10th in both passing and rushing offense yards per game, so their offense is strong. Their defense on the other hand gives up the 3rd most yards per game and 10th most points per game, so it’ll be up to the offense to come out strong next week.