What we learned in Rams' win: Matthew Stafford can win under pressure

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Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp (10) makes a touchdown reception during the first half.
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp makes a touchdown reception during the first half. (AJ Mast / Associated Press)

The Rams improved their record to 2-0 with a 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here’s what we learned from the Rams’ win:

Matthew Stafford knows how to produce game-winning drives

OK, we already should have known this.

Stafford engineered 38 game-winning drives during his 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions.

The question: Could he do it for a team with realistic Super Bowl aspirations?

Stafford passed for a fourth-quarter touchdown that enabled the Rams to reclaim the lead, and then he managed a drive that led to a game-winning field goal.

Sony Michel provides a power-back presence

Since Michel arrived in a late preseason trade with the New England Patriots, coach Sean McVay seemingly took pains to answer any question about Michel by proclaiming that Darrell Henderson was the starter.

But when Henderson left the game because of rib injury, Michel took advantage of his opportunity.

Michel carried the load during the game-winning drive, rushing six times for 46 yards. Why McVay called for receiver Cooper Kupp to run a sweep on third-and-two, rather than giving the ball to Michel again, remains a mystery.

Unsung inside linebackers are making big plays

In the opener against the Chicago Bears, Kenny Young tipped a pass that was intercepted and he recovered a fumble.

Against the Colts, Troy Reeder stepped up.

With the Colts threatening from inside the five-yard line, Reeder intercepted a shovel pass by Carson Wentz.

It was the first interception for Reeder, a third-year pro who signed with the Rams in 2019 as an undrafted free agent.

Jalen Ramsey capitalizes on mismatches — with quarterbacks

Ramsey, the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, is being deployed by defensive coordinator Raheem Morris from positions all over the field.

But Ramsey showcased his elite ball skills after the Rams took a 27-24 lead in the final minutes.

With quarterback Carson Wentz out of the game at the time because of an ankle injury, the Colts sent second-year pro Jacob Eason onto the field for the first time in a regular-season game.

Ramsey intercepted Eason’s second pass to all but seal the victory.

Special teams miscues are now a major concern

After the Rams gave up a 50-yard return on the opening kickoff against the Bears, it was easy to chalk up the play as perhaps a first-game miscue.

But when Colt Isaiah Rodgers returned the opening kickoff 41 yards, McVay and every Rams fan had to sense an ominous trend.

The punt team also suffered a major lapse. With Johnny Hekker lined up in the end zone, Matthew Orzeck’s snap bounced off protector Nick Scott. Hekker tried in vain to scoop the ball, but the Colts recovered it for a touchdown.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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