Ed " Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 54-51 this past Monday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Playing before a crowd over 77,000 fans, they would witness two explosive offenses combined to score 105 points, over 1000 yards of offense; nearly 900 combined passing yards and 14 touchdowns.
However, despite all those statistics, one statistic seemed to be missing from it all, zero touchdowns from Todd Gurley. Gurley had entered the game with a 13 game scoring streak at least one touchdown. A Rams record he would set last week; however, that streak ended on Monday night.
Early in the first quarter, Gurley injured his ankle against the Chiefs. While there was no report of the injury, the Rams managed to keep the injury undisclosed. As it appeared they would use Gurley as a decoy, the offense did not lose a beat, as they were still able to put up 42 points on the scoreboard. Gurley did have one long run of 27 yards and eclipsed the 1,000 mark of rushing for the second consecutive season.
Going into a well-deserved bye week, the Rams have players who are in desire need for the rest. The team plagued with injuries, early in the season lost Aqib Talib and Pharoh Cooper to ankle injuries. The two players injury required surgery and placed on the IR. Cooper was designated from the IR this week and played against the Chiefs.
However, Talib more than likely will be designated from the IR next week, as he will be eligible to return. Talib's return becomes an impact for the Rams defense as their defensive backfield has struggled in his absence. Talib is set to return when the Rams play against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The team also lost wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Mike Thomas to season-ending injuries. Thomas injured his groin in week one, and Kupp tore his ACL against the Seattle Seahawks in week nine. Kupp's injury was a devastating blow to the offense as he killed defenses. However, Josh Reynolds has stepped up in his absence and is filling some big shoes.
Quarterback Jared Goff is having another career years with over 3,500 passing yards and 26 touchdowns and six interceptions. He threw for a little more than 36 touchdowns, 28 touchdowns, and seven interceptions last season. He is on a pace to throw over 5,000 yards 35 touchdowns and has one less interception he had all of last season.
Goff has thrown four of his six interceptions in the red zone, a problem he has used poo*r decision making. Forcing passes into double coverage or rolling out and throwing passes that are at a disadvantage for receivers to catch. As spectators, have to love the aggressiveness from Goff but also he needs to learn to protect the ball.
Goff trails perhaps the MVP of the league right now Patrick Mahomes by only 84 passing yards, but Mahomes has 11 more passing touchdowns. Goff led the Rams down the field with a game-winning touchdown to hold off the Chiefs to better the team record to a 10-1 record.
The improvement of the team's offense is the latest addition of throwing the ball to the tight ends. Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have elevated their games the last couple of games. The first time since 2013, the Rams tight ends both caught touchdown passes against the Seattle Seahawks. The tandem now makes defensive coordinators have to game plan for them now this late in the season.
However, the emergence of Everett, he hauled in two down against the Chiefs, none was far better than the 40-yard touchdown reception from Goff with 1:47 left in the game. After gathering in the past, he had enough presence in mind to tightrope the sideline to get in the end zone. Everett is starting to become that threat down the field as he was drafted to become selected in the second round last season.
After the Rams play the Lions, they will travel back to play the Chicago Bears the next following week at Soldier Field. The Bears defense will provide some problems for the Rams offense as they have to be concerned with the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Yes, the once Oakland Raider Khalil Mack who was traded to the Bears this pre-season and signed a record contract. The Raiders chose to trade Mack instead of paying him for draft picks. The league has flexed that game to Sunday evening where America will see the two teams best defensive players in Mack and Aaron Donald. It will be one of the evening's no one wants to miss watching.