LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Rams earned their most impressive, complete win of the season on Sunday, November 26, as the Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints, 26-20 in front of 60,000 boisterous fans at the venerable Coliseum. The Rams maintain a one game lead in the NFC West over the Seattle Seahawks.
These Rams redeemed themselves after faultering to the Minnesota Vikings 24-7, last week in Minneapolis. By pressuring Saints Quarterback Drew Brees-another lightning quick start by the Rams certainly didnt hurt. This was a matchup of the two highest scoring offenses in the NFL.
Los Angeles opened up the contest featuing opposing NFC division leaders with an opening 70-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins. Watkins caught four receptions for 82 yards and a TD.
Watkins answered the call to raise his game, due to the fact the Rams will be missing leading wide receiver Robert Woods for a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury. The Rams and Saints have identical records at (8-3).
Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp caught for 116 yards in the victory, rookie Josh Reynolds came out of nowhere to be the X-factor. His four receptions including a TD catch were vital in the win.
Another fascinating subplot was the matchup at QB- the present vs. the future as Drew Brees was bested by the young Jared Goff on this picture perfect afternoon on a casual post Thanksgiving weekend.
Goff completed 28 of 43 passes for 354 yards, 2 TD passes with one interception, his first since Week 7 against Arizona in London.
Meanwhile the Rams menacing defense silenced the typically explosive offense, primarily because Brees was on his back, under duress from the Rams D-line, who were wreaking havoc.
This week in practice, Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips urged his players to effectively apply pressure to get some SACKS!
The defense got the message; dropping Brees to the turf twice on the first possession alone.New Orleans came into the game leading the league in total offense, averaging 415 yards per game.
The Rams limited the Saints to 346 yards. Brees only completed 22 of 32 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. However, the star of the Saints was one Alvin Kamara.
The rookie, running back took a handoff, charged to the right smoothly, suddenly Kamara turned on turbo and raced down the sidelines untouched for a 74-yard TD run to even the score at 7-7 apiece.
Kamara was sensational, he ran for 101 yards, caught a touchdown pass and gained 80 yards receiving.
Kamara made so many dynamic moves while shedding would be tacklers, the new star looked like a video game avatar from Madden Football 2018.
The Rams must clean up the penalties in order to seriously have a chance to compete in the crowded, competitive NFC. Committing 9 penalties for 90 yards in the victory didn’t cost them this week.
More glaring, the Rams are quite, adept at moving the ball across the field without the thrill, or even the joy of experiencing seven points on the scoreboard; the Rams need to find a way to punch it in more often.
Hopefully, these slight adjustments will asure the ball gets across the goaline. Celabrating with teammates in the end zone after a touchdown with a playful game, hilarious antics involving the football as a prop or a choreographed dance routine are a few examples.
This off-season, the NFL made the wise decision to no longer throw the yellow flag for excessive touchdown celabrations. In 2017, the fan has been privy to watch the players turn a TD into an event unto itself.
How will the team celabrate crossing the white chalk of the end zone without a dance routine?
The players also have been known to use the ball as a prop in an array of hilarious ways. My favorite post touchdown moments have been the choreographed dance routines.
With all of the negative attention swirling around the National Football League, and the mounting evidence of CTE and its long term health effects to the Brain.
Why not allow these men, who are risking their careers and even their own well being or lives to erupt in spontaneous acts of joy and ecstacy?
In other words: HAVE SOME FUN!
When the Rams reach the Red Zone instead, the NFC West leaders possession grinds to a halt like a derailed Gold Line MetroLink. Case in point, All-Pro Kicker Greg Zuerline made four field goals including a 57-yd field goal as the 1st half ended.
The Saints made a late rally in the 4th quarter, similar to their comeback victory against the Washington Redskins last week.
The Saints trimmed the Rams lead to 6 on a 15-yard TD pass to Kamara with 2:15 left remaining in the game.
Fortunately, Sammy Watkins has a great set of hands, grabbing the wobbly pigskin up to seal the victory. Watkins recovered the ensuing onside kick:Rams Win!
Next week, the Rams visit the Arizona Cardinals in the desert before a potential preview of the NFC Championship on December 10th.
The Philadelphia Eagles will fly to face the Rams in L.A. on Sunday, December 10.
The Rams rebounded with a win at a time when their record and overall success as an organization was being called into question by pundits as well as fans after the Vikings debacle. Any way you slice it, the game proved to be a terrific victory for RAM-nation!