Rams @ Colts
Final Score: Rams 27, Colts 24
Writer: Chris Sanzo (@Doombot12_FF on Twitter)
The Matthew Stafford-led Rams are now 2-0 after defeating the Colts, 27-24. The recurring theme of today’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts was the Colts’ inability to finish off drives. They had plenty of opportunities, including seven first-half goal-to-go plays that resulted in zero points. Carson Wentz played well but was never given the opportunity by head coach Frank Reich to punch it in early. In head-scratching fashion, Reich actually continued to call plays that attacked the middle of the Rams line and in doing so ran into Aaron Donald. He’s a pretty tough guy to miss out there, so I’m not exactly sure what they were trying to prove other than they don’t understand how good AD really is. The game was decided when Wentz was unable to go back in after an ankle injury he sustained late in the 4th. Jacob Eason entered the game with a three point deficit and 2:23 left on the clock. Two passes in, he found Jalen Ramsey ready for the INT that effectively ended the game.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford: 19/30, 278 yards, 2 TD, INT | 2 carries, 1 yard
When the drives went the way they drew it up, they looked effortless. Matthew Stafford has definitely found a home here in LA and he is building great chemistry with his receivers, especially Cooper Kupp. Another couple of TD passes today to pair with his 11 targets made fantasy owners quite happy. Other than his one INT that was caused by pressure in his face and a wobbly release that may have been affected at the line, Stafford was efficient, accurate, and wasn’t careless with the football. You can tell he’s getting more comfortable with the new system, but he better be ‘sunbathing at a cabana with a good book’ comfortable as they have Tampa Bay and Tom Brady coming in next week.
MAKE IT ✌️ FOR COOOOOOP!@CooperKupp finds the endzone again! pic.twitter.com/dfVS2RAi6N
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 19, 2021
Darrell Henderson Jr: 13 carries, 53 yards, TD | 5 targets, 3 catches, 29 yards
Sony Michel: 10 carries, 46 yards
Henderson was the best back on the field today. His vision was on full display as he danced around to find the openings created by a line that was impressive as well. He looked the part of a true RB1 until he sustained a rib injury in the 3rd. There should be more information once they get an MRI on Monday. If it comes down to pain tolerance, you just hope he can put together more games like this without hurting himself.
Sony Michel performed admirably in his absence, but he never brought the same presence Henderson did, especially not as a dual-threat. Jake Funk will be a name on the waiver wire after he was in on some snaps when Michel led the backfield.
Darrell Henderson RB1 🗣 pic.twitter.com/7riAmCSIO8
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 19, 2021
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Cooper Kupp: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 163 yards, 2 TD
Robert Woods: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 64 yards
Van Jefferson: 3 targets, 1 reception, 14 yards
Tyler Higbee: 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards
Kupp is one of the smoothest route runners in the league. This game was just him running a clinic. No rounded routes, body always in position, cuts down angles for Stafford, and then when he caught a pass that would’ve led him out of bounds and short of the first, he was able to identify the yard to go, stop himself, make defenders miss, and pick up the first down. Just a near-flawless game for Kupp who continues to be Stafford’s favorite target, with good reason.
This play by Kupp seems mundane but is so impressive. The pass is meant to go to the 1st down marker but Kupp creates a better angle for his QBs pass as pressure has pushed Stafford off his spot. He stops himself from being led out of bonds, jukes his guy just enough, & converts. pic.twitter.com/UhyE9XN50Z
— Chris Sanzo (@Doombot12_FF) September 20, 2021
Robert Woods did not have the same impact. He pulled in some diving catches but also had multiple drops. He seemed to be the favorite when plays broke down, so he may have some games that outpace Kupp when facing a stronger pass rush. Tyler Higbee was never utilized after having a target share over 20% last week. That may have also been the game plan given the Colts’ LB speed and ability to cover.
Carson Wentz: 20/31, 247 yards, TD, INT, 3 Sacks | 5 carries, 37 yards
Jacob Eason: 2/5, 25 yards, INT
This is the Carson Wentz the Colts brought in to lead them to the Super Bowl. You wouldn’t know it, but Wentz actually outplayed Stafford. He also looked far more confident than he has in years. He was throwing the ball with authority and his accuracy came with it. Protection was still an issue as he faced pressure almost every time he moved off his first read, but he was able to move the sticks with his legs, looking fresh on his carries. Wentz was injured when his ankle was rolled on a tackle by Aaron Donald. It looked bad initially on the field but he was able to walk off the field and attempted to put weight on the ankle, running dropbacks on the sidelines. Ultimately, it was determined he couldn’t get back in and Jacob Eason could not lead them to a win. If this team can get healthy and Carson can play like he did today with a full complement, this team can make some noise.
Zip it right in there for ZP.
📺 FOX pic.twitter.com/tayt8bydWi
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 19, 2021
Jonathan Taylor: 15 carries, 51 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards
Nyheim Hines: 1 carry, 5 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards
Marlon Mack: 5 carries, 16 yards | 1 target
This entire group was a non-factor at best. Jonathan Taylor was largely ineffective, failing to convert one yard on three consecutive carries on goal to go, and another on the play before the INT. He had the red zone carries to pay off a huge game which was great, but he just could not figure it out. Maybe the more concerning part is that he received only one target and the group collectively had four. Hines dropped a wide-open 3rd down pass to keep them to a field goal between those other two red zone drives that ended in zero points. Maybe he was actually doing them a favor by having them settle for three. This is a game they would like to forget.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Pittman Jr: 12 targets, 8 receptions, 123 yards
Zach Pascal: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 38 yards, TD
Ashton Dulin: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards
Mike Strachan: 1 target
Jack Doyle: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 64 yards
Mo Allie-Cox: 2 targets, 1 reception, 18 yards
Michael Pittman finally had a good game. Carson showed signs of the good days in Philly by extending the play and finding Pittman downfield on a great adjustment despite double coverage. It’s the kind of catch you want to see from a young receiver getting a fresh shot with the new franchise (hopefully) QB. I want to be fair and not write this off as T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell‘s absences being the only reason. He played very well and deserved those targets. This injury could be potentially heartbreaking for Pittman who took a step forward today.
Take a hit to make the play.
📺 FOX pic.twitter.com/DItJMjZIjg
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 19, 2021
Another game, another TD for Zach Pascal. This one was a bullet from Wentz and he did a great job of getting his body in position to secure it as it was thrown between 3 defenders. He is clearly building good rapport with Wentz and is proving his reliability in the red zone.
Jack Doyle seemed to make exclusively impactful plays. He had a catch down the sideline in which he stopped his momentum, much like Kupp, and managed to turn it into a 34-yard reception, setting them up in field goal range. He also had a hand in Wentz’s INT as he was unable to fight across the line to be on his spot for the shovel pass. It’s hard to blame him when you have Aaron Donald clogging the middle, and this again belongs on Reich’s shoulders.
— Chris Sanzo (@Doombot12_FF on Twitter)
thank you this is great. I just thought I’d let you know there’s a typo in yyour title though?