I’ve been granted the privilege of covering the Los Angeles Rams every week, and let me just reiterate that it is a privilege. The Rams possess a scheme that is both dynamic and aggressive and is executed by absolute STUDS. I mean, imagine the pain the guy covering the Bills must feel? If I had to choose between watching that Bills game and watching "Human Centipede" on a loop for a week...I’d pick that Bills game, of course, I’m not a total psycho. What did you think I was going to say?
Let’s dig in...
Quarterback Jared Goff went 18 for 33 and racked up 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. The first touchdown was a “hot potato” pass to Gurley for a 19 yard TD, which was more like a toss for a sweep than a pass. A very intriguing play as the Rams have a multitude of players who could run this play, and it apparently counts as a pass TD for Goff. That’s a great plus moving forward. The other TD was a quick throw to wide receiver Cooper Kupp from the 8 yard line. Goff appeared to be even more poisoned in the pocket than last season. Two big plays were foiled by pass interference to wide receiver Brandon Cooks. This is significant because Goff and Cooks will eventually hook up for big points and the mere presence of Cooks helped draw flags that moved the Rams into scoring range. As a result, Goff is a solid QB2, low end QB1 going into this weekend’s game at home against Arizona, who had no interceptions and gave up 255 yards and 2 TDs to Washington QB Alex Smith.
Running back Todd Gurley showed no signs of change from last season in usage. He torched the Raiders with 20 attempts for 108 yards and 3 catches for 39 yards and 1 TD. He defines auto-start. Gurley and well timed/executed zone blocking go together better than the buffalo wings and ranch or blue cheese we guzzle watching him play. Next up is a RB1 battle of the new running back vanguard with Arizona’s David Johnson and a Cardinals defense that just let both AP and Chris Thompson produce RB1 weeks.
Both Kupp and wide receiver Robert Woods led the team in targets with 9, but one had a much better day than the other. Kupp ended up in the end zone and caught 5 passed for 51 yards. Woods, on the other hand, only managed to grab 3 of his 9 targets for 37 yards. He looked to have suffered the most from lack of preseason play. Goff overthrew him on some routes that would’ve been nice chunk plays if the timing was better. And 2 of those targets were in the end zone. So, don’t fade Woods too much based on his stat line. Cooks had 8 targets himself and managed to haul in 5 for 87 yards. His yardage potential might give him the safest floor of the bunch, but it’s clear that all three are viable fantasy options as WR2-3s with WR1 upside any given week and especially this week against a seemingly not very good Cardinals team.
Perhaps the only position you would avoid on this offense is the tight end as no one on the team with positional designation registered a catch. Wow. For what it’s worth, tight end Tyler Higbee was on the field for 60 of the Rams' 63 offensive snaps at Oakland. Gerald Everett got 5 snaps. (Shrugging emoji.)