Head Coach Ranking

New Orleans Saints 45, Los Angeles Rams 35 – Nov. 4, 2018

Key Coaching Decision #1: (NO ball, game tied 0-0 / fourth-and-1, LAR 37 / 11:43 Q1)
• New Orleans decides to go for it on fourth-and-short. Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill scrambles for nine yards for the first down. The drive ended with an Alvin Kamara touchdown run and a 7-point lead. We liked this decision; a 54-yard FG try is risky, and being aggressive against a Rams team that you know is going to score points makes sense.

Key Coaching Decision #2: (LAR ball, 14-14 / fourth-and-4, NO 16 / 13:14 Q2)
• Lining up for a field goal attempt to take the lead, the Rams decide to run a fake. Punter Johnny Hekker is tackled just short of the first down and the Saints take over on downs. In a high-scoring game where every point is important the smart decision was to kick the field and take a 3-point lead.

Key Coaching Decision #3: (LAR ball, trailing 35-33 / 2-point conversion attempt / 9:57 Q4)
• After a Cooper Kupp touchdown reception to cut the New Orleans lead to two points, the Rams decided to go for the 2-point conversion and the tie. Jared Goff completed a pass to Gerald Everett for a successful attempt and with a little less than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter, the game was tied.

Key Observations:
• In a great game between Super Bowl contenders, the teams combined for 80 points and almost 1,000 yards of total offense.

• New Orleans won the time of possession battle by over seven minutes and had over 140 yards rushing on the day, which helped keep the explosive Rams offense on the sideline.

• Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas led the way for the New Orleans offense. Kamara accounted for three touchdowns and Thomas had 215 yards receiving and a game clinching 72-yard score in the fourth quarter.

• Los Angeles played well on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense could not come up with key stops in the fourth quarter. All-Pro DT Aaron Donald came into the game with a league-high 10 sacks, but was held without a sack as the defense struggled to shut down the high-powered Saints offense.

• Todd Gurley averaged over five yards a career, but only had 13 rushing attempts on the day. The Rams fell behind early and decided to deviate from the rushing attack. Gurley needs to be more involved as the Rams head into a divisional game with the Seahawks. With a win next week, Los Angeles can basically wrap up the NFC West title.

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