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The Detroit Lions put up a fight against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon, making it a much closer game than many anticipated. Thanks to a late pick by Jalen Ramsey and three touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford, the Rams pulled out a 28-19 win over Detroit, moving to 6-1 on the year.
Their performance wasn’t without some pitfalls, however, with the linebackers and special teams unit struggling mightily against the Lions. Here’s how we graded every position group in Week 7.
As the weeks pass, Stafford just seems to get better and more comfortable in the Rams offense. He completed 28 of 41 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns, playing a big part in the win – especially on third down when Los Angeles was 9-for-13. Stafford had zero turnover-worthy plays and was only sacked once, taking advantage of the great protection he had in front of him. Stafford has yet to disappoint for the Rams this season.
Running back: C-
Sunday marked the Rams’ worst rushing performance of the season. Darrell Henderson Jr. rushed for 45 yards on 15 carries and Sony Michel gained 4 yards on his two attempts. The offensive line didn’t open up many big holes, but Henderson and Michel didn’t do much to create their own yards on the ground. Henderson only forced one missed tackle on his 15 attempts, while Michel had the same number in only two attempts.
Wide receiver: A
The Cardinals might be the only team that has figured out a way to slow down Cooper Kupp. The Lions didn’t have an answer for him as he caught 10 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Woods also caught all six of his targets for 70 yards, while Van Jefferson recorded four catches for 43 yards and an eye-popping touchdown catch over a Lions defender in the end zone. It was an all-around great day for the receivers.
Tight end: B
Tyler Higbee played every snap and caught five of his eight targets for 46 yards. He stepped up as a blocker, too, doing a nice job on the edge in the 19 run-blocking snaps that he had against the Lions. Kendall Blanton was a non-factor, playing just two snaps in place of the injured Johnny Mundt.
Offensive line: A-
Everyone knew the Lions didn’t have a great pass rush coming into Week 7, but that shouldn’t make the Rams offensive line’s performance any less impressive. The Lions landed just one hit on Stafford and only made two tackles for a loss, hardly ever getting close to the quarterback. Brian Allen did allow four pressures and one sack, struggling on the interior, but the rest of the offensive line all played well.
Defensive line: B
Aaron Donald only had two pressures surprisingly, but one of them came at the biggest moment when he hit Jared Goff and forced an interception to Jalen Ramsey. A’Shawn Robinson also had a solid game with two pressures and three run stops, bouncing back after two games of playing a limited role. Sebastian Joseph-Day made three stops but only had one pressure, which was his sack on Goff.
Inside linebacker: D
Troy Reeder had his worst game of the season, and possibly of his career thus far. He missed four tackles and allowed 54 yards in coverage on seven targets, all of which were completed. Kenny Young wasn’t much better, also finding himself out of position in coverage, but he was solid against the run and made four stops. This is by far the biggest weakness on the team and the decision to trade Young away doesn’t help.
Outside linebacker: B
Leonard Floyd had some decent rushes off the edge, but where he really made an impact was as a run defender. He made two stops and had seven tackles, including a great hit on the inside on third-and-short. Terrell Lewis and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo didn’t have very impactful afternoons, with Okoronkwo failing to record a single pressure in 13 pass-rush opportunities; Lewis had two.
Jalen Ramsey was an absolute stud against the Lions, and not just because he pulled down a clutch interception late in the fourth. He helped limit T.J. Hockenson’s impact by matching up with him at times, also stepping up in run defense with two stops. He leveled Goff on a blitz, too, showing the ability to rush the quarterback. Robert Rochell was playing well before getting hurt, allowing zero receptions on one target, while Dont’e Deayon also gave up only one catch on two targets.
Jordan Fuller had a quality performance for the second straight week, making three stops and nine total tackles – though he did miss one tackle. Taylor Rapp made three tackles and allowed only one reception in coverage. Nick Scott missed a tackle when he was run over on an inside run, but he did seal the win with a late interception.
Special teams: D-
The only reason the Rams’ special teams didn’t receive an ‘F’ is that Matt Gay made a huge 47-yard field goal with a minute remaining to end any chance of a comeback. Had he missed, the Lions would’ve only been down six points and needing to go about half the length of the field to take the lead. Otherwise, special teams was a mess – from short kickoff returns to allowing the Lions to convert an onside kick and two fake punts. It was simply unacceptable.