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Other Week 13 Game Recaps

Week 13 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 30, Detroit Lions 16

What you need to know

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams passing offense had some ugly moments in the first and third quarters of this game. This was probably Goff's worst showing of the season. The Rams receivers are an extremely tough and dependable group. Todd Gurley is the best parachute in the NFL.

Detroit Lions

Detroit struggled with their offensive identity against the Rams Sunday. Matthew Stafford struggled to create any vertical throws in the offense while LeGarrette Blount has occasional success running against the Rams defense. Bruce Ellington led the team in targets, while Kenny Golladay continued to struggle as a WR1.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 33 - 207 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0
This was arguably Goff's worst game to date this season. A lot of meat was left on the bone in the passing game, and the two turnovers he had were his fault. He had a potentially huge missed play where he pre-determined to go to Robert Woods on a Drag-Wheel conversion and missed Cooks come wide open on the Deep Over. He tried hitting Cooks on a Deep Over route on the next drive, but it was triple covered. Goff sailed the ball a bit and it was easily intercepted. He opened up the second half with a 23 yard Deep Over to Robert Woods on the first play. On the next play, he was pressured off the edge after a deep drop off play action. A replay angle showed that he had Woods open on a Deep Over again, but he dropped his eyes just as the route came open. He scrambled vertically into the teeth of the rush and was taken down for a sack, fumbling and turning the ball over in the process. The offense sputtered through much of the third quarter, with the Rams' only scoring drive coming on a field goal after Detroit attempted an onside kick (and was flagged for illegal touching), allowing the Rams to start at the Lions' 38 yard line.

RB Todd Gurley, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 132 - 2, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (5 targets)
The last we saw of Gurley, he was a non-factor in one of the highest scoring games in NFL history (through no fault of his own, as he sustained and played through an injury very early in the game). The Rams offense (the passing game in particular) sputtered in both the first and third quarters, but they were able to lean on Gurley for production in their leaner moments of the game. By the 4th quarter, the Lions defense was gassed and had given up. He ran untouched for 13 yard right up the on his first touchdown run. While the Rams were trying to run clock in the last four minutes, Gurley went untouched until the third level, where he broke the safety's tackle. He ran back and forth inside the five, trying to use as much time as possible. He scored easily two plays later for his second touchdown.

WR Robert Woods, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 5 - 67 - 1 (9 targets)
His first target came on a Shallow Cross on 3rd and 3. The defensive back took him down with the ball in the air, drawing the flag and converting the first down off of penalty. On his next target he ran a deep Comeback along the right sideline. The corner actually played well in man coverage and contested the catch. Hew was the recipient of a nasty hit in the second quarter, as Goff was pressured and threw him a hospital ball on the run - a Deep Over that was high and behind Woods. He got his hands on it and was immediately smacked by the defender while in the air. The team leaned on Gurley to take them down the field for the drive, and Woods capped it off with a touchdown on a Shallow Cross from inside the 10 yard line where he easily just ran away from the defender on him in man coverage.

WR Brandin Cooks, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 62 - 0 (6 targets)
He was targeted on Goff's first two attempts. The first was a Deep Curl along the left sideline against off coverage. On the next play he started from the offensive's left, went in Jet Motion and converted it to a Wheel route up the right sideline. The linebacker to his side took a good angle, taking the Wheel away and forcing Goff to throw it where neither could make the catch. Woods fought through the contact, securing the ball at the high point, boxing the corner out, and coming down with the ball in bounds. He had back-to-back big gains on receptions running out-breaking routes from the slot in the two-minute drill before halftime.

WR Josh Reynolds, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (5 targets)
For being a frail-built, he displays a tremendous amount of toughness. He's not afraid to mix things up with linebackers on the second level and is not afraid of contact over the middle. He had potential for a bigger day than the statline suggest. He was targeted on one of Goff's early redzone throws, but got tangled with the coverage as the ball was in the air. He also came open on a Corner route in the second quarter, but the defensive back grabbed him and impeded him from coming out of his break and was flagged for defensive holding.

Detroit Lions

QB Matthew Stafford, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 33 - 245 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0
Matthew Stafford continued to struggle in a loss to the Rams. Detroitís offense lacks continuity without Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kerryon Johnson, which severely hampers Staffordís upside. Stafford has little in terms of field stretchers in the offense. The only vertical option is Kenny Golladay, who drew a defensive pass interference, but did not help Stafford by getting too close to the sideline on a back-shoulder throw where he could not get two feet down and another pass in the end zone where he could not get his feet down along the end line. The offense also struggled with interior pass rush from Aaron Donald and was out of down and distance because of sacks and penalties. Stafford had the opportunity for another touchdown in the red zone, but he was hit as he threw to Theo Riddick and the ball was too low for Riddick to handle. Staffordís lone touchdown was a trick play to Taylor Decker where the Rams did not realize Decker was an eligible receiver. Stafford has struggled with turnovers recently and Sunday was no exception. He lost a fumble on a sack from Aaron Donald and later threw an ill-advised prayer into the end zone that was easily intercepted. Stafford will look to rebound against the Arizona Cardinals.

RB LeGarrette Blount, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 61 - 0 (1 targets)
LeGarrette Blount drew the start again with Kerryon Johnson injured. Blount had success running on the interior against the Rams and was able to get to the edge for a 24-yard gain in the fourth quarter. Blount was used in the passing game once, on a screen that bounced off his hand. Blount did not get any opportunities in the red zone, which is necessary for Blount to have difference making fantasy impact. Blount will face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but Kerryon Johnsonís injury status is important to monitor for Blountís role.

RB Theo Riddick, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 32 - 0, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (4 targets)
Theo Riddick saw limited usage against the Rams on Sunday. Riddick was used to spell LeGarrette Blount in the backfield briefly and saw 8 carries on the game, but his passing game usage was limited to 4 targets, largely a result of the emergence of Bruce Ellington in the slot. Riddick had an opportunity for a touchdown on an angle route where he was open, but Matthew Staffordís arm was hit as he threw, and the ball was too low for Riddick to catch. Riddick faces Arizona in week 14.

WR Bruce Ellington, 38 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 7 - 35 - 0 (10 targets)
Bruce Ellington continued his emergence as Detroitís primary slot receiver on Sunday. He led the team in targets, but their value was capped by a short depth of target. Ellington was targeted on screens frequently and used to convert multiple third downs out of the slot. While Ellington led the team in targets, he did not see any vertical opportunities in the game. With Marvin Jones out for the season, Ellington should continue to see a significant portion of Detroitís passing game targets.

WR Kenny Golladay, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 50 - 0 (8 targets)
Kenny Golladay continued his inconsistency against the Rams on Sunday. Golladay struggled to create separation against man coverage and had jumped an inbreaking route and nearly intercepted. Golladayís successes came against zone defenses when he ran crossing routes between the linebackers and safeties for receptions. After an early crossing route reception, Golladay largely disappeared until the last drive of the first half when he caught an out route. Golladay drew a deep pass interference penalty but did not have any other vertical completions. He missed a key opportunity in the end zone when he caught a ball along the end line but did not give himself room to come down in bounds. He made a similar mistake on an open back shoulder throw along the sideline. Golladay will likely get a matchup with Patrick Peterson next week when Detroit faces Arizona.