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Week 6 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 23, Denver Broncos 20
What you need to know
The Rams played another close game and again had to deal with some injury adversity. They lost Cooper Kupp
early again for the second straight week, and lost both offensive tackles to injury in the second half, and the Broncos got immense pressure on pass plays after that point. Goff was more caretaker than gunslinger in this game, and Todd Gurley
showed why he is one of the league's best parachutes.
The Broncos missed starting tackle Jared Veldheer for the second week in a row, and may have lost guard Ron Leary to a season-ending Achilles injury in week 6. Left tackle Garett Bolles was called for an NFL-leading 6th holding penalty. Darian Stewart intercepted Jared Goff
in the 2nd quarter. Denver scored with less than a minute left in the game to bring the score to 23-20, but Denver couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick attempt. QB Keenum was evaluated for a concussion at halftime, but returned at the start of the 3rd quarter. Backup QB Kelly was greeted with cheers when he entered the game to take a knee at the end of the 2nd quarter. Denver travels to Arizona on a short week for a Thursday night week 7 matchup.
Los Angeles Rams
|QB Jared Goff, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 28 - 201 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0|
Injuries to other players and the Denver pass rush turned this into more of a game managing play for Goff. He had a great throw on Post to Cooks on the first drive, but stalled out after some short pass attempts to Todd Gurley
(one of which was a Touch Pass Jet Sweep that Gurley just straight up dropped like a fumbled handoff). On the Rams' second drive (3rd and 2 from the 20) he delivered really accurate ball to a covered Robert Woods
on a Deep Over that only Woods can get his hands on ñ however Woods could not bring the ball in and the drive stalled at the 20. He took two sacks to Bradley Chubb in the two minute drill closing out the first half. Both times featured deeper dropbacks and route concepts. On the first, Goff got caught holding the ball waiting for a route to come open. On the second, Von Miller beat his man and flushed Goff into Chubb's sack. His interception came near the end of the third quarter ñ he threw an outbreaking route to Josh Reynolds
on the perimeter ñ the defender was able to slightly tip it and the ball hit right in Reynolds' facemask and ricocheted off for an interception.
|RB Todd Gurley, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 28 - 208 - 2, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)|
Gurley's first touch was a drop on a Touch Pass Jet Sweep. From there on, he absolutely carried the Rams' offense. On his first three carries, he picked up 35 yards to open up the Rams second offensive drive. On the second drive, he opened up dominating the Broncos again - 47 yards two runs and a catch on the first three plays. On 3rd and 2 from the 11 yard line, he got stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The Rams called a timeout. The offense broke the huddle and hurried to the line - instead of going through their various presnap motions, they snapped the ball immediately and caught the Broncos defense before they were set. Gurley rewarded them by not just converting, but by running untouched to the endzone. After a quick three and out in their first drive of the second half, the Rams completely turned their offense over to Gurley and Woods. Gurley touched the ball or was targeted on 7 of 10 offensive plays before punching the ball in from the 1 yard line for a touchdown. The chunk plays seemingly dried up and Gurley/the Rams were playing more methodical before he ripped off a 26 yard gain on a misdirection Toss with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. This was a huge run and essentially put the Rams in scoring position while up only score late in the 4th. The drive stalled out, but the Rams were able to kick a field goal to extend their lead to two scores - hugely important as the Broncos scored a touchdown on their next drive to bring the game to 23-20.
|WR Robert Woods, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0, Rec: 7 - 109 - 0 (10 targets)|
Woods is so consistent and dependable. Other than one deep catch by Cooks in the first quarter, Woods carried the pass offense almost by himself. Whether it's precision routes - like 15 yard gain on an out-and-in route on the second offensive play - or using his YAC skills (like on a 38 yard catch and run on a Shallow Cross), or being a tenacious run blocker, he does so many things to help the Rams offense. His volume figures to remain extremely steady, especially with Kupp figuring to miss a few weeks after his knee injury.
|WR Brandin Cooks, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)|
Cooks continues living off deep/intermediate in breaking routes, especially off play action. Overall, it was a quiet day for him, as the Rams' deep/intermediate passing attack was stifled by Denver's defensive front. He caught a huge 45 yard Post on the first drive, and got two deep targets late in the third quarter, but both were well covered, and the ball was not in play for him.
|WR Cooper Kupp, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)|
Kupp was left the game with an injury for the second straight week. He injured his knee on a Jet Sweep for a 10 yard gain in the second quarter. He was horsecollar tackled by the defender, who was penalized.
Everett got an edzone target on the first drive on a double move from inside, but was double covered. Had a 10 yard catch on 3rd and 12 where he got tackled right as he made the catch. Otherwise, he was not a factor in the offense.
|QB Case Keenum, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 322 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0|
Keenum's day started out rough. He had the ball slapped out of his hand by a defender on the opening drive, but managed to pick it back up and nearly throw an interception. After a three and out, the offense put together a nice drive at the end of the 1st quarter, with Keenum completing several passes to Lindsay and Sanders. Keenum appeared to find Sanders for a long touchdown, but the receiver was ruled down at the 1 yard line and then drew a taunting penalty that backed the offense up another 15 yards. Keenum took a big sack on 4th and 3 at the end of the 2nd quarter. A defender ripped the ball from his hands as he was tackled, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway as it was a turnover on downs. Keenum was evaluated for a concussion during halftime, but returned in the 3rd quarter.
Keenum did have a few big chunk plays downfield, always to the left of the formation. He found Sanders for 43 yards down the left sideline in the 1st quarter, Thomas for 45 yards down the left sideline in the 3rd, and finally a big deep ball to Sutton down the left sideline late in the 4th quarter for 41 yard. Keenum found Emmanuel Sanders
for his first touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Sanders lined up in the slot with two other receivers on the right side of the formation, and broke his defenders ankles with a nasty double move. Keenum found him and Sanders made an outstanding effort to extend the ball into the end zone after being hit around the 3 yard line. Keenum also found Thomas for one final score at the end of the game. A pass interference penalty set Denver up on the 1 yard line. Thomas lined up in the slot and took off for the back of the end zone, and Keenum hit him with a nice touch pass. Unfortunately, Denver was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick, sealing their 23-20 loss. Keenum was intercepted in the 3rd quarter while looking for TE Brian Parker
up the seam. A defender tipped the short pass up into the air, while another made a diving catch for the pick. Keenum had one 6 yard scramble that converted on 3rd down in the 3rd quarter.
|RB Phillip Lindsay, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 18 - 0, Rec: 6 - 48 - 0 (7 targets)|
Lindsay entered the game after Royce Freeman
. Freeman got more carries(9), but Lindsay had the better per-carry average and worked extensively in the passing game. Lindsay got involved early, motioning across the formation to the right WR position and catching a screen pass for a nice gain on his first target in the 1st quarter. Keenum checked it down to him on a shallow crossing route the next play for a short gain. Lindsey got loose out of the backfield and hauled in another check down pass that he turned up the sideline for a solid gain on the next drive. Lindsay secured a short out route from the backfield for his final catch in the 2nd quarter. Lindsay caught another target in the 3rd quarter and took the pass to the 1 yard line, but the play was called back for offensive pass interference on receiver Sutton. Lindsay hauled in another crossing route late in the 4th, finishing his day catching 6 of 7 targets. Lindsay only recorded 4 official carries, but the game script called for more passing as the Broncos once again fell behind early.
Freeman got the "start" and received the most carries but was completely ineffective on the ground in week 6. He finished with just 22 yards on his 9 totes. Freeman caught one target for a short gain, but the play was called back for an offensive holding penalty. Phillip Lindsay
picked up extended work in the passing game, and Devontae Booker
continues to siphon off touches during the 2 minute offense.
|RB Devontae Booker, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets)|
Booker was unheard from until he got to work late in the 2nd quarter during the 2 minute drill. He hauled in an out route from the backfield for a short gain and had a carry for 9 yards. Booker got a few more snaps at the end of the game with the Broncos down 23-13 and driving with minutes left. He hauled in another short check down from the backfield, and had a second carry for a 6 yard gain. Booker continues to vulture limited touches from Lindsay and Freeman during the 2 minute offenses.
Sanders and Lindsay were the only receivers that Keenum could get anything going with for most of week 6. Sanders led the team with 10 targets. He started his day with a shallow crossing route in the 1st quarter that failed to convert 3rd down. He made a nice run after the catch on a WR screen later in the 1st. Sanders appeared to score on a beautiful deep ball down the left sideline at the end of the 1st quarter, but he was ruled down at the 1 yard line and drew a taunting penalty that backed the offense up 15 yards to the Rams' 16. Denver eventually settled for a field goal. Sanders kept the momentum going in the second quarter, hauling in another quick pass at the line of scrimmage and picking up good yardage with the run after the catch. Sanders scored in the 3rd quarter, lining up in the slot with two other receivers on the right side of the formation and beating his man with a nifty double move. Sanders made a great effort to extend the ball into the end zone for the score after being hit on the 3 yard line. Sanders drew a facemark penalty at the end of the 4th quarter, extending a late Broncos scoring drive. Sanders topped 100 yards and scored his first receiving touchdown(he had a 35 yard TD rush in week 3) since week 1. The 43 yard reception is tied for his longest of the year.
Thomas wasn't heard from at all in the 1st half, but finally got on the board with a big 45 yard reception(his longest of the season so far) down the left sidelines in the 3rd quarter. It was a questionable pass by Keenum, but Thomas managed to backtrack to secure the underthrown pass. He let an easy catch clang off of his hands on a crossing route later in the same drive. Keenum hit him on a quick slant at the end of the 4th quarter for a 1st down in the Rams red zone. A couple of plays later, DT lined up in the left slot on the Rams goal line and caught a beautiful over the shoulder pass in the back of the end zone. The score brought Denver to within 3 points of the Rams, but Denver couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick with seconds remaining in the game. DT finished the game with just 4 targets total, tied with Sutton for 4th behind Sanders, Lindsay, and Heuerman.
Sutton didn't record any catches in the 1st half, finally getting on the board with a short reception on a curl in the 3rd quarter. Keenum found him deep down the left sideline late in the 4th quarter for a 41 yard gain. Sutton also drew a personal foul, tacking 15 more yards on to the play for the Broncos. Keenum looked for Sutton in the back of the end zone once in the 3rd and again at the end of the game, with Sutton drawing a pass interference penalty to set the Broncos up on the 1 yard line on the latter attempt. Thomas's touchdown followed on the next play. Sutton is drawing multiple red zone targets per game, but isn't hitting on much with Keenum struggling.
|TE Jeff Heuerman, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (6 targets)|
Heuerman caught a skinny post underneath prevent coverage for an 11 yard gain on 3rd and 30 in the 2nd quarter. Keenum found him underneath on a short curl route later in the 2nd. Keenum checked it down to Heuerman one final time on a shallow crossing route late in the 4th. Keenum looked for Heuerman on a corner route in the end zone on the next play, but the ball wasn't even close.
|TE Matt LaCosse, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (4 targets)|
LaCosse got some limited work in the passing game as the second tight end. He was overthrown on a short out route in the 2nd quarter. Keenum found him for a short gain at the end of the 2nd quarter, then overthrew him on a corner route on the next play.