Things went from bad to worse for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. If it wasn’t enough to drop their eighth consecutive regular season game to the San Francisco 49ers, seeing Cooper Kupp go down late with an ankle injury brought about the biggest fears possible.
While the extent of the injury is unclear, Kupp himself believes things are pointing in the right direction and believes he dodged a bullet. But the Rams were unable to dodge the bullets of 49ers running back Christian McCaffery who did everything in the Rams’ 31-14 loss.
McCaffery threw, caught and ran for a touchdown, becoming just the 11th player in NFL history to do so and the first since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005. For the Rams, it was an unfortunate reminder of what could have been as they also tried to acquire McCaffery but were outbid by their division rivals.
Things actually started off well for the Rams, who got on the board first with a 17-play, 88-yard drive capped by a Matthew Stafford sneak for the touchdown. When the 49ers tied it on McCaffery’s 34-yard touchdown throw, the Rams responded with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a Stafford touchdown throw to Kupp. But it was all downhill from there.
The 49ers would reel off 24 unanswered points the rest of the game and their defense shut down the Rams completely in the second half. The Rams managed a meager 58 yards of offense in the second half and the defense was unable to contain the 49ers despite them missing star receiver Deebo Samuel.
Stafford threw for just 187 yards and the touchdown and the Rams’ run game issues continued as they totaled just 56 yards on the ground. McCaffery meanwhile, finished with 94 yards on the ground and another 55 receiving on eight catches including a beautiful leaping grab for a touchdown in the third quarter.
But most important moving forward for the Rams will be the health of Kupp and head coach Sean McVay will undoubtedly be under a lot of fire for having his star receiver in the game at that point. Down 17 points with just one minute remaining, there will be a lot of questions as to McVay’s reasoning for putting Kupp in that position and hopefully this is a minor injury that won’t doom the Rams even more going forward.
Next up for the Rams
The Rams will hit the road next week to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle of preseason NFC favorites who are in desperate need of a big win to turn their seasons around.