The Los Angeles Rams opened the brand new SoFi Stadium in Southern California Sunday night. What was a heck of a battle between the conference rivals, the Rams came out on top by the score of 20-17.
There was a lot that happened on the field in Los Angeles. From a horrible coaching decision by new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy to a questionable call late in the game, this matchup was not without controversy.
Those two aspects are among winners and losers from the Rams’ narrow three-point victory over the Cowboys.
Winner: Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys
Zeke is eating for the #Cowboys in the first half. Second TD. pic.twitter.com/Lj69PAb23J
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) September 14, 2020
Elliott put up a solid 66 yards and two touchdowns on 11 touches in the first half alone. This is a represention of just how much of a difference maker he can be in the Cowboys’ offense, both through the air and on the ground.
Despite the Cowboys falling behind again early in the third quarter, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore decided to still ride the Pro Bowl running back. Elliott put up 127 total yards on 25 touches, leading an otherwise pedestrian performance from the Dallas offense in Week 1.
Loser: Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams
Fresh off inking a massive contract extension with the Rams earlier this weekend, the expectation was that Kupp would be in for a huge game against a suspect Cowboys secondary. The former Eastern Washington standout was coming off a 2019 campaign that saw him record 94 receptions and 10 touchdowns.
He just did not have it against Dallas Sunday evening. Kupp, 27, caught all of four passes for 40 yards in a questionable overall performance. Los Angeles needs him to step up after Brandin Cooks was traded for salary reasons during the offseason. If Week 1 is any indication, he might not be up to the task.
Winner: Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams
An absolute force. The single-most dominating defensive player of his generation. However we want to define what Donald has brought to the mix since being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year still has it at 29. An injury-plagued Cowboys offensive line found that out first hand Sunday evening.
Donald recorded a whopping four quarterback hits to go with one tackle for loss and another sack. He was consistently in Dak Prescott’s face throughout the game, especially when it counted the most. Los Angeles will need much more of this from its best player if the team wants to rebound from a down 2019 season.
Loser: Mike McCarthy, head coach, Dallas Cowboys
Down 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, Dallas was facing a fourth-and-three from the Rams’ 11-yard line. The obvious choice would have been to call on former Rams kicker Greg …read more