Following a brutal and otherwise forgettable season opener loss to the Bills, the Los Angeles Rams have more questions than answers after being exposed on national television. LA was clearly not ready for prime time. There’s a lot of pain and agony to overcome, so let’s dive into my first thoughts on the team after the week one loss.
Cooper Kupp playing as an MVP; others… not so much
The All-Pro wide receiver picked up where he left off after superbowl LVI. In the first half, Kupp caught eight of nine targets for 56 yards and LA’s first touchdown of the 2022 season on quality loot:
It was pretty much the only offensive highlight of the night. Kupp finished as the team’s leading receiver with 13 receptions for 128 yards.
As for the other smugglers, nobody, and I mean nobody parted ways behind Kupp. Free agent addition Allen Robinson sat out, catching just one pass for 12 yards in the first half. Tutu Atwell dropped the only target in his way, also in the first half. Ben Skowronek was the only other wide receiver to catch more than two passes, catching four for 25 yards.
The unit’s lackluster efforts were a desperate plea for help. This group badly needs an OBJ meeting. The Sneads should be on the phone with his agent early Friday morning with a contract ready to be signed. I don’t care if he won’t be picked up before mid-season, anything is better than the receiving body of the Los Angeles egg laid on Thursday.
The offensive line is good, uh pretty offensive
Speaking of terribly underperforming units, if tonight is any indication of things to come, I think Matthew Stafford is going to be running for his life all season. Stafford was sacked seven times through bad luck against Buffalo. It’s not like the Bills often blitz either:
The Bills have six sacks despite blitzing just one of Matthew Stafford’s 28 dropbacks so far (all six sacks were with four or fewer rushers).
The Bills have only played one game in the last 15 seasons with more sacks when using a standard rush (eight against Washington in 2011). pic.twitter.com/aoaUFwUUGY
— ESPN Stats and Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 9, 2022
Are we sure Andrew Whitworth is happy with his retirement? It wouldn’t hurt to check.
Backtracking by committee? Do not make me laugh
However, once the match started, Darrell Henderson started and was the one who took the majority of the shots. Henderson did the most with the opportunities given to him. During the third quarter, the role supposedly assigned to Akers was virtually non-existent.
Cam finished the game without yards on three carries. It’s odd that someone who took the bulk of the snaps in the playoffs is reduced to minimal touches. I understand the Rams played from behind for most of the game, but that won’t be a recipe for success going forward.
The hangover is real…but there will be a cure
I will hold my tongue because any tongue I should use to describe the Rams’ effort against Buffalo would be far too inappropriate to say on a “family” sports site.
Between taking shots to ease my pain, I fully understand why the Bills were favored before this game. Despite being an underdog, I kind of expected LA to show up tonight because they’re I don’t know…SUPER BOWL DEFENDING CHAMPIONS!!! Star power alone won’t do the job, boys!
Matthew Stafford was a cipher machine. The O line could not block. Hardly anyone besides Cooper Kupp could catch passes. It was a disaster all around and I still have no idea WTF that cover (or lack thereof) is:
Maybe Mr. Ramsey should stop talking all the time and just cover. Going back to the divisional round of the playoffs last season, Jalen has been exposed in three straight games. Maybe it’s just karma for all the bullshit he talked about Josh Allen a few years ago. What circulates, comes back I suppose.
The Rams seemed so ill-prepared that it’s hard to imagine this team winning a title last February. Life certainly moves fast in the NFL.
While tonight didn’t reflect well on the organization, I don’t see this loss defining the team for all of 2022. LA clearly wasn’t the best team tonight and for them to regain their form championship, they need to step it up. This team might need some time to click again because SB’s hangover feels very real and rather unsettling.
I would expect the Rams to get going sooner rather than later. Now is not the time to press the panic button. Let’s give them some time to work things out, but I think Los Angeles will have a harder road to repeat than they originally anticipated.