TuTu Atwell shocking TD gets LA Rams offense back on track

Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams needed a spark to get this offense back on track. The Rams’ offense has been both battered by injuries, and ineffective by falling to the bottom of the NFL rankings in scoring.  This is a team that has tried to stick to a winning formula, but opponents had other ideas and loaded up to stop the Rams’ best offensive weapon, WR Cooper Kupp.

Without Kupp and with the return of QB Matthew Stafford from the NFL concussion protocol, the Rams started the game with a bit of a vanilla offense, rushing the ball on the first three plays in their first offensive series.  On the next series, the Rams passed on first down (smart mix) and then ran for their first first down of the game. The Rams rushed once more for a four-yard gain before passing twice without a completion. The Rams were forced to punt once more.

After the New Orleans Saints were held to a field goal, the Rams got a great return on the ensuing kickoff by kick returner Brandon Powell to the Rams’ 38- yard line.

The Rams’ offense took the field with their best field position of the game, but now trailing by three points.  Historically, the Rams abandon the run as soon as the team falls behind, and my keyboard was ready to tap away the expected pass-pass-pass-punt choreographed play calling that was all but certain.

Instead, the Rams sent WR Tutu Atwell in motion, and veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with him in stride racing past the Saints’ defensive back and down the sidelines for a 62-yard touchdown strike.

As desperately as the Rams’ offense needed that touchdown, Tutu Atwell needed that score even more. That was only Atwell’s fifth target in his NFL career and only his second catch. But this one will make NFL headline reels.

Ideally, the Rams’ ability to score instantly from 62 yards out should give the offense easier boxes to run against in this one, and should keep the Saints’ secondary guessing. Can the Rams avoid becoming too predictable long enough to flex some offensive muscle?

Tutu Atwell has certainly done his part in this game. Now the LA Rams offense must match his shocking play by getting some momentum moving the football and giving the defense a chance.

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