[NFL] Week 1: the Onset on the sly (Los Angeles Rams vs Carolina Panthers 30-27)
The first output of the seasonal Rams and Panthers has brought us a dowry of a game bruttarella between the two teams is still clearly out of register. The long-established practice Sean McVay to save all of them from the preseason has led, for the second consecutive year, with the onset of the various Goff, Gurley, Donald and company singer very on the backburner for the obvious rust still to shake off. On the side of the landlords, but, in addition to a McCaffrey ubiquitous and already more than lively, it is seen very little. A Cam Newton distant relative of the scrambler that is mad all the defensive coordinator, opponents every holy week, stuck on race and rather inaccurate in the steps. Also, the defenses did not see great things, a sign that there is still to work a lot on both fronts.
The Rams can be quite satisfied with the performance of the linebacker central and defensive back, with Corey Littleton, ruler of the central area of the field and is also the author of an interception, while on the face of a pass rush there is still much to do. It is true that Matthews (1) and Fowler (2) have landed Newton behind the line three times, but often it was a problem of communication on the line of attack to Carolina, the more that actions really due to a pass rush that is convincing.
The Panthers seemed to be very one-dimensional in attack, with McCaffrey that he did everything he could to try to keep Carolina in the game, almost succeeding, among other things, to complete a comeback that would have had the sensational, but beyond the point man of the attack, the Panthers have been Newton, who has done a homework from six skimpy, and a defense powerlifting, determined and aggressive, that has not tapped the obvious technical gap with the left side of the line the offensive the Rams ' formed by the first-timers (as a starter), Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen. All in all a good test for the two new highly expected line of the Rams, but the test of evidence will be other, starting from next Sunday when, at the Coliseum, will the Saints still have the tooth poisoned from the conference finals last season.
A speech to part goes made for Todd Gurley, that they were all waiting at the gate to the now famous soap-opera about the state of his knee, now renamed “The Patella News.” We have not had any great revelations about the actual state of the knee of the runningback, who started slow and then finish in a crescendo, accumulating almost a hundred yards, but even just the fact that it was alternate to Malcolm Brown, giving a drive a head of the game, with the latter exploited the great of his opportunity, scoring two touchdowns, it makes me think that every time someone in the organization says Gurley, “he's just fine” a nose is extended a few centimetres. No later than Friday, Sean McVay, to the question whether Gurley had some sort of “limited mileage” in the game, the head coach said no, but it is evident that the use of the number 30 will be very different than what we were accustomed to see in the last two seasons.
The game, as we said at the beginning, was not that great. Beginning in the bush, with both teams unable to move really the ball and the defense of the Rams that went up immediately in the chair, causing with Littleton, without a doubt, the best player on the field in the home Rams, a turnover.
After a bit of a beat and refutes, in which a part is worked out in the field, and as an active protagonist, Cooper Kupp, who received plenty of the ball, and the other one was addressed to Christian McCaffrey if you wanted to get something good from a playcalling rather conservative, in the second quarter came finally the first points on the board.
It was Greg Zuerlein, after his colleague Siye had missed a field goal from 53 at the end of the first quarter, placing the ball between the posts with a kick from 49 yards, and immediately after, the Rams cashed in on a big mess from the attack of the Panthers. Cam Newton threw a pass back towards Moore, who, however, droppava the ball. The first to notice that it was a fumble was Samson Ebukam, who took the oval on the 15 opponents. Time a couple of breakthroughs, central Brown, and also the first touchdown of the season for the Los Angeles Rams was a done thing. To complete the first half of the game came in the second field goal by Zuerlein (a cannon shot from 56 yards). In the only moment in which the Panthers have shown some sign of life, Newton could not lead his distance from the field goal two seconds from the end, and this time, Siye not wrong, sending the teams to the break 13-3.
The Rams, among other things, had to do other than Eric Weddle, came out with a likely concussion and a head full of blood for a cut in the forehead caused by a blow from the knee (unintentional), McCaffrey, who, in an attempt to jump the tackle, and then went on to have an impact on the player.
In the second half, the attack of the Rams seemed to turn better, and Todd Gurley warmed up the engines, but was still Zuerlein to solve the drive with a kick from the 27 that reported to 16 points of advantage for the Rams.
For Carolina the half time break seemed to benefit, and McCaffrey had breached the end zone as the opponent for the first time in the season for a touchdown in the 16-10 with a beautiful action, in which the runningback took a direct snap from the center, fintava the handoff on Newton, and he ducked into an empty hallway to get in the end zone almost undisturbed.
In the next drive came the first turning point of the match. On the 44 to Carolina, Goff threw for Reynolds, which was to escape the ball after awkwardly received, and the Panthers relied on the oval for what appeared to be a fumble, but the referees called it incomplete. Ready the call of the challenge for Rivera, but the outcome was one of the strangest ever seen. The transition was complete, because the referee judged the man completed the action of receiving, but because there was not enough evidence to determine if the ball had been lost before or after that Reynolds would touch the ground with the knee, was the initial call of incomplete. The Rams we lost a few yards but, more importantly, kept possession of the ball and could not continue the drive, which ended with the race to the touchdown by Malcolm Brown, who re-establishes the distances.
The Panthers responded with a field goal of Siye from 52, but the game seemed to become addressed. It thought about it for the first time the special teams of the Panthers who, after being forced to the beginning of the game Hekker to punt seven yards, a blocked kick and returned the ball to the attack on the 5-yard offensive. Two rides and McCaffrey came in the end zone, bringing the score 23-20, giving a little bit of vitality for an attack that seemed to have now ditched the shot.
Goff was catch badly by Bradberry, who fought on a ball that the number 16 in Los Angeles launched very backward with respect to the location of Brandin Cooks, but a great defense sventava the danger of overtaking and forcing the Panthers to three-and-out. Gurley you loaded the attack on the shoulders, and built in the perfect drive that brought the Rams up to 5 opponents, where Goff was Higbee for the touchdown that seemed to close the meeting.
The Panthers there were, however, but an attempt of a comeback was extinguished on the interception of Littleton, which seemed to close the practice. Littleton returned the ball up to the 17 opponents, but a stupid penalty, Peters was back the Rams 15 yards. Zuerlein missed field goals from 41, and the Panthers intravvedevano the possibility of the miracle.
McCaffrey carried the ball up the goal line the opposing, where Armah sfondava for touchdowns in the 30-27. The onside kick, Carolina, however, was not going to end well, so Gurley could earn with relative ease that first down that was needed by the Rams to close out the game.
A good win, and then for the Rams, who beat a team that many see in the play-offs at the end of the season. Certainly, we must work a lot on both fronts. Because if you have ambitions of playoffs must first improve the play of Cam Newton, and then someone will have to come forward to give a bit of breathing space to McCaffrey, who is so young, but should be managed in a better way. Until Newton will remain in the shadow of himself, however, the choices of the coaching staff in Carolina will not be very different from those of yesterday evening. Short week for Carolina, already on Thursday evening will host the Buccaneers.
The Rams, however, will be host at the Coliseum, and the New Orleans Saints in the game felt more and more of the week. There is a Championship to avenge (with its train of controversy) but as seen yesterday evening, the Rams are not yet ready to play at its best against a difficult opponent like the Saints. Unless (but I see it really hard) that Charlotte was not a game of preparation for next Sunday.