ReFo: Rams @ Eagles, Week 5
Believe it or not, this was not a close game – at least for most of it. Things started badly for the Rams: going three-and-out after opening up with an ill-advised pass-heavy attack and then leaving an unblocked defender to block the ensuing punt ending up in a score for the Eagles.
The Eagles added five of the next six scores to take a 34-7 lead late in the third quarter. From there they conspired to open the door for the Rams to mount some kind of comeback, but it ultimately came up short with Austin Davis unable to lead a game-winning drive in the final two minutes.
Let’s check out who distinguished themselves or otherwise.
St. Louis Rams – Performances of Note
Aaron Donald, DT: +3.9
Breakdown: Aaron Donald is swiftly developing a swim move that J.J.Watt would be proud of. Too often he is just too quick for blockers to handle. Not necessarily off the ball, but laterally and with his hands.
Signature Play: Q1, 4:32. The ball came out quickly so it won’t show up as anything more than a hurry, but Donald whips LG Matt Tobin in a flash with his swim move and closes on the QB.
E.J. Gaines, CB: +3.8
Breakdown: E.J. Gaines was the man who ended up covering Jeremy Maclin for most of the fay, and he limited him to 52 yards from nine targets, breaking one pass up and picking another off.
Signature Stat: Gave up a passer rating of just 26.7 on passes thrown into his coverage in this game.
Scott Wells, C: -3.3
Breakdown: It wasn’t just Wells, but he was the worst of the struggling Rams interior in this game, too often losing out at the point of attack in the run game.
Signature Play: Q2, 12:25. This play is about as bad as it gets from a center who was engaged the whole time. He was controlled first one side to force a cut, then the other for the tackle.
Philadelphia Eagles – Performances of Note
Brandon Graham, ER: +2.3
Breakdown: #FreeBrandonGraham! Though he actually played 32 snaps in this game and has been quietly getting that kind of workload all season, it’s still around half of the snaps he should be getting (Trent Cole: 64, Connor Barwin: 68).
Signature Stat: Led all Eagles players with five hurries, one more total pressure than Trent Cole in second place. Cole rushed the passer 41 times to Graham’s 14.
Nick Foles, QB: -2.0
Breakdown: Sometimes you get the feeling Foles puts up numbers more by luck than by design. The number of times he just flung a ball vaguely in the direction of one of his receivers when under pressure in this game was mind-blowing.
Signature Stat: Completed just four passes for 36 yards under pressure for a -3.5 PFF grade on those plays.
Bradley Fletcher, CB: +1.1
Breakdown: I’ve always been a fan of Fletcher as a corner and he managed to grade pretty well despite giving up a couple of plays late in the game, including a potentially costly DPI penalty.
Signature Play: Q1, 6:55. Here Fletcher is able to break on an out-route intended for Brian Quick and break it up as they go out of bounds
PFF Game Ball
One man who really did stand out in this game was E.J. Gaines, who takes home a game ball. Or would if we actually gave them out.
Follow Sam on Twitter: @PFF_Sam