The Rams traveled to Baltimore to face an injury riddled Ravens squad. Rams vs Ravens looked like a daunting matchup when the schedule first came out, but injuries have riddled both sides since. It was another close game
All of LA’s new acquisitions this year put on a show against the Ravens. Odell Beckham Jr. had a clutch catch on 4th down and his 5th touchdown with LA. Although his stats weren’t as flashy he made some catches on 3rd and 4th down to help the team win. Von Miller had a couple of good plays off the edge and ended the Ravens last drive with a sack.
Sony Michel continued his good streak as the lead back and had some good runs while averaging about 4 yards a carry. In all, the Rams’ new players this season have made big impacts, which was evident in this game.
Tyler Higbee had his best game of the season with a season-high in yards and catches. He was a reliable target for Stafford in the short passing game and made some good plays. He also contributed to what ended up being the game-winning drive. Higbee may not be the player with the best stats but he’s a good contributor to the passing game.
The Rams defense has slowly become more dominant since the beginning of the year. Below is a chart of EPA on both sides of the ball from nfelo.app. You can see that they’ve been pretty far apart, but recently the defense has started to climb back up. The main reason the defense has been performing better in recent weeks starts with the defensive line. Donald, Gaines, Robinson, Floyd and Miller all had good games and were able to put consistent pressure on Huntley. The secondary did a nice job as well of limiting the wide receivers and held Mark Andrews to under 100 yards. The defense held Huntley and the Ravens to field goals when it mattered the most.
One of the only truly bad performances was from Havenstein. He gave up a strip-sack on that became one of the turning points of the game. Havenstein has been a great veteran tackle, but his performance on Sunday was not one of the best. He’s been solid this year and has only given up 5 sacks, for context, the rest of the offensive line has roughly given up the same amount with the least being Austin Corbett at 2.
Another game, another up and down performance for Matthew Stafford. He lands in the meh column yet again due to his inconsistency. I think this meme sums it up pretty well; The first half he was terrible and in the second he led a game-winning drive. In the 4th quarter this season, Stafford has 11 TDs versus 0 interceptions. Something I have to give him and the team credit for though is learning from the mistakes and getting better after. That’s something that has been evident in the last two games that wasn’t there during the 3 game losing streak. His turnovers haven’t been as costly because the rest of the team is playing better.
Overall, this was another close win, but a win nonetheless. The turnovers haven’t been as costly recently, but they’ve still been present. If Stafford can cut down the turnovers and rely more on the intermediate/short passing game, the offense is one of the best in the league. The Rams will get to face the 49ers at home in the season finale. The teams that can ball control and be physical don’t match up well against the Rams and to keep them out of the playoffs they’ll need a win.