The Rams went from looking like a team that might lose to the depleted Ravens to beating them with a touchdown in the final minute, grabbing their first lead of the game with 57 seconds left. It doesn’t matter if the Rams trailed for most of the game. What matters is they won their fifth straight.
Looking back on their performance in Week 17, most of their position groups played well against the Ravens. It’s just that a few mistakes on offense made this one closer than it needed to be.
Here’s how we graded each position against Baltimore this week.
It initially looked like Stafford would be trending toward earning an ‘F’ grade in this one after throwing an early pick-six, another interception on a deep shot and losing a fumble on a strip-sack. But he redeemed himself by going 14-for-14 in the second half, finishing with 302 yards and two touchdowns. He was surgical on the Rams’ game-winning drive, leading them to a much-needed victory with a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr.
Running back: B-
It’s not thatSony Michel played poorly, he just didn’t do anything spectacular. He did have seven runs of at least 6 yards and also caught passes that went for 11 and 12 yards, finishing the day with 99 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. He did drop an easy pass that likely would’ve gone for at least 10 yards and was called for an illegal blindside block, which was questionable, so those two plays did hurt the Rams.
Wide receiver: A-
Only one of the seven passes that Stafford threw to Cooper Kupp wasn’t caught. The wideout racked up 95 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore, once again leading the Rams’ receiving corps. Odell Beckham Jr. made two of the biggest plays in the game, though: a fourth-down catch with under two minutes to play and the game-winning touchdown grab one play later.
VAn Jefferson caught four passes for 63 yards but was also pinned with a drop on a pass that was slightly high from Stafford. And Ben Skowronek caught two passes for 18 yards, including a 15-yarder late in the game.
Tight end: B+
Tyler Higbee has been good for about 4-5 catches and 50 yards most weeks this season, but he topped those numbers with six catches for 69 yards on Sunday – both season-highs. Two of the catches he made were really impressive, too, plus a third that went for 15 yards on the Rams’ game-winning drive.
Offensive line: A-
Stafford was only sacked once in the game and hit four times total, while Baltimore made just two tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, the one sack that Rob Havenstein allowed resulted in a lost fumble, but that was one of the only negative plays by the O-line – aside from Andrew Whitworth’s holding penalty early on. The offensive line played really well, giving up just five total pressures.
Defensive line: A-
Aaron Donald continued his remarkable season with three more pressures and a half-sack to go along with a tackle for a loss and forced fumble. A’Shawn Robinson recorded his first sack of the year and Greg Gaines made a couple of impact plays near the line of scrimmage against the run. This is one of the better defensive lines in football and it played like it on Sunday.
Inside linebacker: B-
Troy Reeder was thrust back into a starting role with Ernest Jones out and although he gave up four receptions in coverage and missed a tackle, he wasn’t necessarily exposed in a way that proved costly for the Rams. Travin Howard did a nice job with five tackles on only 20 total snaps played, flying around to the football.
Outside linebacker: B+
Leonard Floyd and Von Miller tied for the team-high with four pressures each, both playing well against a difficult quarterback to contain. Miller sacked Tyler Huntley twice and had four total stops, while Floyd made seven tackles, had a half-sack and made three stops. It was a good performance from each of them on the edge of the defense.
Mark Andrews did most of the damage for the Ravens from a receiving perspective, catching six passes for 89 yards. Rashod Bateman, Marquise Brown and Devin Duvernay combined for just 105 yards on 12 receptions, so the Rams’ corners did a nice job limiting them. Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams each broke up a pass, while Donte Deayon allowed just 10 yards in coverage. David Long Jr. didn’t have a great day, though, giving up a 33-yard catch to Andrews and missing one tackle.
Jordan Fuller made one of the most important plays of the game by picking off Huntley just before halftime to set up Cooper Kupp’s touchdown. Taylor Rapp made six tackles, as did Fuller, and Nick Scott finished with three tackles and only 18 yards allowed in coverage. Andrews had a big day with three catches for 34 yards against the safeties, but Fuller, Scott and Rapp played well.
Special teams: B-
Matt Gay missed only his second field goal of the season as his kick from 56 yards just slid wide right in the first quarter. Johnny Hekker downed both of his punts inside the 20-yard line and Brandon Powell had a solid 18-yard punt return. His only kickoff return went for just 18 yards, though.
Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/rams-week-17-report-card-154438055.html?src=rss