The Los Angeles Rams took care of business against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. After a rough first half, the Rams dominated all facets of the game in the second half, scoring 23 unanswered points en route to a 33-13 victory. Let’s award the three stars of the game that made this happen.
CB Marcus Peters
The Rams traded a second and fourth round pick for Peters back in March. It’s only been one week, but the investment looked well worth it. Peters anchored a dominant Rams secondary on Monday night. Oakland receivers had a combined five receptions for 43 yards on nine total targets. Oakland’s star receiver Amari Cooper hauled in one reception for just nine yards.
Aqib Talib deserves equal credit for completely taking the Raider receivers out of the game, but Peters earns the star of the week due to his late game pick six in which he channeled his inner Marshawn Lynch to celebrate. The Rams new age of cornerbacks sent a message to the rest of the league. In the words of Rams legend Janoris Jenkins, #ClampSeason is in full effect.
RB Todd Gurley
Gurley only touched the ball five times in the first half, but was still able to rush for 19 yards and score on a 19-yard reception. The team captain asserted himself more firmly in the second half, finishing the game with 20 rushes for 108 yards while adding three receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Todd Gurley has sky-high expectations entering his fourth season. He was the No. 1 overall pick in many fantasy drafts and earned a $60 million extension from the Rams this offseason. Gurley left no doubts on our minds that we’d be seeing 2017 Gurley this year and not 2016 Gurley. He was the best player on the field whenever he trotted onto the
baseball football field in Week 1.
LB Cory Littleton
The most pleasant surprise of the day was the play of Cory Littleton. Hurled into the starting lineup with the departure of Alec Ogletree and missing the help of Mark Barron, Littleton stepped up in a big way, recording 13 tackles and an interception while helping lead the Rams to victory.
Linebacker had been the biggest question mark on the depth chart heading into the season. It’s still early, but Littleton’s play helped ease those concerns. He seems more than capable of starting alongside Mark Barron for the duration of the season. The third year player may be the team’s breakout player this season.
Honorable mentions: WR Brandin Cooks, WR Cooper Kupp, The Entire Offensive Line, CB Aqib Talib
The Rams return to action Sunday afternoon as they host the Arizona Cardinals.