Week one is in the books for the Los Angeles Rams after defeating the Carolina Panthers 30-27 on the road.
The Rams offense got off to a slow start, but quickly began firing on all cylinders.
The big surprise was tailback Malcolm Brown, who scored two touchdowns on 11 carries. Brown’s performance was a bit of a shocker as rookie running back Darrell Henderson was expected to be behind second in line.
“I’m always just going to be prepared, since my rookie year I felt like I always prepared myself to the best of my abilities, so whenever my number is called I just gotta go out there and perform,” said Brown.
As for Todd Gurley, it was clear the Rams have a much lighter load planned for him. Gurley, who was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017, found himself sidelined in goal-line situations. With only 14 carries, three more than Brown, Gurley still managed to rush for 97 yards with a long of 25.
Without a doubt Todd Gurley is still one of the league’s top threats, but the Rams have made it clear they need him healthy at the end of the season and for playoffs. Although it is only week one and many players did not play in the preseason, Gurley’s opportunities will remain something to watch throughout the season.
The Rams offense was also glad to have wide receiver Cooper Kupp back on the field after tearing his ACL during the 2018 season. The wideout recorded seven receptions and 46 yards in his first game back. Goff was especially excited to have his favorite receiver back.
“His overall feel is so tremendous, there is times where ill lean on him and ask him what he’s seeing and he sees it just like I do. It’s like have another quarterback out there,” said Goff.
Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks all recorded at least 35 yards in the victory. Tight end Tyler Higbee was responsible for the only receiving touchdown on the day.
As for the Rams defense, Eric Weddle was carted off the field in the midway through the second quarter after suffering a head laceration. Weddle collided with Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey’s knee as McCaffrey hurdled over him.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald also had a quiet game as he failed to record a sack. Donald, the Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, was not able to be disruptive as he normally is. With the loss of Ndamukong Suh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is without a doubt Donald will be facing more double teams.
The Rams now go back to the drawing board and prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints at home this week. The game will be nothing short of entertaining and both teams will be looking to make a statement.
The Rams received a favorable no-call in the NFC Championship game in January that has stirred up some bad blood between the teams. The Rams would ultimately end up winning that game and secured their ticket to the Super Bowl.
“There is a lot of things, starting with myself, that we can look at, get cleaned up and move forward,” said Head Coach Sean McVay.
Full game highlights here: