There was a brief moment of hope late for the Colts, but a late Jalen Ramsey interception sealed a 27-24 Rams win, dropping Indianapolis to 0-2 start to the season. A late Carson Wentz injury only compounded the Colts' problems Sunday.
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Matthew Stafford forced a poor throw up the middle of the field that was intercepted but was mostly wise with the football. He checked it down much more often this week than last, throwing short of the sticks on 53% of his 30 attempts, finishing with an average depth of target near seven yards.
A team that plays a lot of soft coverage and two-high safeties typically has issues stopping the run, and Los Angeles tried to exploit that with Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel, as they combined for 99 yards on 23 attempts while both produced a pair of explosive runs.
Cooper Kupp showed off his versatility against the Colts, as he put on a creating offense clinic, forcing two missed tackles and averaging 11 yards after the catch on his nine receptions. His 34% share of targets led the Rams, and his over five yards per route run justifies the target volume.
|Player||Targets||Yards After Catch||Yards Per Route Run||Receiving Yards|
|Other Rams WRs/TEs||11||19||1.23||78|
Stafford helped his blockers by getting the ball out of his hands in 2.1 seconds on average, which limited DeForest Buckner and Kwity Paye to just one sack. Los Angeles' offensive line allowed pressure on just three dropbacks, and no lineman was beaten by a rusher more than once.
Aaron Donald wrecking a game from the interior is nothing new. His seven pressures led Los Angeles, turning the Colts' interior into glorified traffic cones. As is customary, forcing double teams and the protection to slide Donald's way opens up one-on-ones for his teammates on the edge, and Leonard Floyd took advantage with six pressures and a sack of his own. Twenty-six total pressures made it difficult for Indianapolis' passing attack to sustain itself.
|Player||Pass Rush Snaps||Total Pressures||QB Hits||Sacks|
|Other Rams DL Combined||137||17||3||1.5|
The Rams did a great job eating up interior gaps, which made life easier for the linebackers. Troy Reeder still found his way to five total tackles (one for loss) against the run, a QB hit as a pass rusher, and an interception after a poor Wentz shovel pass landed in his lap.
Ramsey finished the day as any elite defensive back dreams of, shutting the door with an interception in the fourth quarter. Wentz took heed to the game plan this week, as he only targeted Ramsey’s player in coverage twice, resulting in seven total yards. Darious Williams was the subject of the perimeter passing game, as he was targeted 11 times but only surrendered 1.3 yards per coverage snap.
Wentz didn’t do much to threaten the Rams’ secondary, as he tried to keep the ball underneath and away from Ramsey. Only 29% of his 31 attempts were past the sticks, and his yards per attempt nearly matched his average depth of target — as both finished around eight yards. The Colts will have to wait to get a final verdict on his injury status but expect the 46% of yards coming after the catch on Sunday to spike going forward if Jacob Eason is the guy going forward.
There was no room to run between the tackles against Los Angeles, as the Colts running backs averaged a mediocre 3.5 yards per rush on 21 tries. Sixty percent of Jonathan Taylor’s 52 yards came after contact, as he averaged only 1.4 yards before contact.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Michael Pittman finished with a 26% target share Sunday. Five of his eight receptions were converted into first downs, and three were longer than 15 yards. The Colts continue to struggle to create offense after completions, as tight end Jack Doyle was the only member of the group to eclipse 15 yards after the catch.
Coming into Sunday, Quenton Nelson was believed to be the best option to stymie Donald's rush. Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris must have agreed because Donald got to pick on Mark Glowinski instead. Nelson only allowing one pressure in 44 tries did nothing to plug the rest of the offensive line's holes, as Ryan Kelly and Glowinski allowed seven combined pressures on the interior while Julie’n Davenport surrendered six on the edge.
Everything revolved around Buckner and Paye upfront for Indianapolis, as they combined for 11 tackles, five stops and two tackles for loss in 43 combined run down snaps. Paye couldn’t do much to affect Stafford, but Buckner’s three pressures aided in forcing Stafford to get the ball out of his hands quickly.
Darius Leonard racked up a couple of defensive stops and a tackle for loss against the run, but his presence was mostly muted by the Rams' perimeter run and play-action games. Leonard did well with covering check-downs, allowing just 11 yards on five targets and a passer rating below 50.
|Players||Pressures||QB Hits + Sacks||Run Stops||Total tackles on run snaps|
|Kwity Paye & Darius Leonard||3||2||5||11|
|All Other Colts DL Combined||2||1||3||4|
Kenny Moore fell victim to Kupp and Robert Woods’ work in the passing game, allowing 89% of his targets to be completed for over 100 yards and five first downs. While only allowing one reception longer than 15 yards, the Rams were regularly able to find the yardage it needed to stay on schedule by attacking Moore.