So much for the first stringers having issues by not playing during the preseason.
It took all of one half of the first regular season game for the Rams (1-0) to get clicking; offensively and defensively.
All of the Rams starters on offense and some on defense had to navigate through the rust of not playing until Monday’s season opening win in Oakland against the Raiders. The Rams trailed the silver and black 13-10 at halftime, made proper adjustments outscoring Oakland 23-0 in the second half in the 33-13 win.
“There was a little bit of feeling it out,” said Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff. “I still don’t think we played up to our standards in the first half. Think the second half, we came out and we did.”
Goff threw a couple of touchdowns completing 18 of 33 passes for 233 yards. Reigning Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley caught one of the scoring passes. TG3II rushed for 108 yards on 20 carries.
What about the revamped defense with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald book-ending with with Ndamukong Suh on that three-man line. Both were keyed on by that Raider offensive line and that enabled middle man Michael Brockers to sack Derek Carr.
Safe to say, both are now learning to play with each other especially with Donald having missed practice time due to his Summer-long holdout.
“Felt good playing out there with live bullets. Things were a lot faster,” Said Donald after practice on Thursday in Thousand Oaks referring to Monday’s win. “We definitely gelled in the second half.”
They should become a monster pair as the season continues.
As for Suh, the second overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2010 Draft goes up against the quarterback chosen just ahead of him with the first overall pick by the Rams; Sam Bradford. He now is the starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals.
Bradford and the Cardinals (0-1) lost their season opener last week in the desert to the Washington Redskins, 24-6. Bradford struggled at times in the loss and if the Rams defense – not just the line but the those defensive backs and linebackers – puts him in early trouble, don’t be surprised if Los Angeles native and rookie out of UCLA Josh Rosen takes some snaps for Arizona.
The Rams defense accounted for three interceptions against the Raiders. Linebacker Corey Littleton – one of the so called weakest link linebackers in that defense – had 12 total tackles and one of those picks.
DB Marcus Peters also with a pick he took to the house late in the game and celebrated doing the “beast-mode” in honor of his “cousin” Marshawn Lynch who plays for the Raiders. Peters’ celebration cost him $13,000.
Rams DB John Johnson had the third pick for Los Angeles in the win.
Expect the Rams to go 2-0 and – barring injury – keep improving week after week. It starts Sunday with a 41-17 win over Arizona.