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5 Takeaways From the Rams' Week 13 Win Over Jaguars

What are the main takeaways we learned from the Rams' Week 13 win over the Jaguars?

The Los Angeles Rams got back to their dominant ways, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 in the process of securing their eighth victory of the season.

The Rams snapped a three-game losing skid, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back. The team played their most complete game in over a month, seeing high-level contributions from all three phases.

Here are five key takeaways from the Rams' Week 13 win over the Jaguars:

1) Matthew Stafford returned back to dominant form

It was a shaky month of November for Stafford as the turnovers began mounting. Meanwhile, he turned the page in Week 13, completing 26 of 38 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. It was Stafford's best outing since Week 8 in Houston, signaling he needed this type of performance more than ever. He connected with seven different pass-catchers, keeping the Jacksonville defense guessing. Over the last three games, it appeared as if Stafford's confidence had been negatively impacted so entering Sunday's contest he needed to rewrite the script and he did exactly that. Stafford and the Rams offense put this game well out of reach halfway through the second half, giving them a strong boost of confidence as they get set to shift their focus against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals in Week 14 on Monday Night Football.

2) Cooper Kupp sets Rams franchise history

While Kupp's receiving numbers maintained high status, his touchdowns had diminished the last few games as Sunday marked his first score since Week 8. Kupp logged eight grabs for 129 yards and one touchdown, serving as a friendly reminder of whom the offense runs through. Kupp's performance against Jacksonville put his name in the Rams' record books, making him just the third receiver in franchise history to record 100 receptions in a single season, joining Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. When Kupp scores a touchdown this season, the Rams are undefeated, whereas when he doesn’t find the endzone, they’re 0-4. The Rams exploited the Jaguars with Kupp all Sunday afternoon, especially when they lined up a safety on Kupp and he shook the defender and broke free streaking across the middle of the field for a 29-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Kupp didn't record his first catch until closing in on the two-minute warning in the first half, but his efforts in the final two quarters surely made up for it.

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3) The defense played its most complete game

Defensively, the Rams have been pushed around in the three games prior to Week 13. As for Sunday against the Jaguars, Raheem Morris' defense got back to playing their brand of football, forcing turnovers and getting into the backfield, applying constant pressure on the quarterback. The Jaguars scored just one time all game, a touchdown in the second quarter. The Rams received major contributions from rookie linebacker Ernest Jones, who logged nine tackles, 0.5 sack, one quarterback hit and one pass breakup. The Rams forced two fumbles, one by Aaron Donald on the Jaguars' first offensive series and another from A'Shawn Robinson in the later stages of the contest. With the Arizona Cardinals due up next, the Rams defense will need to be on their 'A-game' a week from now in an effort to slow down quarterback Kyler Murray and company.

4) Sony Michel made the most of his opportunity

It can't be understated the value that Michel brought to the Rams offense in place of Darrell Henderson, who was suited up but was ultimately sidelined for the complexity of the game. Michel handled 24 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown, seizing his opportunity as the Rams' lead back. The Rams got back to a more balanced approach than what they’ve ultimately become accustomed to in recent weeks when playing from behind, and as a result, the offense didn't have to be so reliant on Stafford to play a perfect game. They established the run early, used play-action passing and in the end, ran away with a blowout win. The Rams offense goes through the rushing attack and they were able to get back to their foundation in establishing that physical approach.

5) Brandon Powell was a breath of fresh air on special teams

The Rams have used a large array of returners on special teams, serving as the deep man on kicks and punts. While they’re nearing double-digits in terms of the candidates they've tried at returner, Sean McVay just may have found his guy for the long-term. Powell was just elevated from the practice squad on Saturday and it looks like he'll be sticking around for the long haul this season. Powell returned the opening kickoff for 65 yards, giving the team a spark right out of the gates. Powell finished the game handling two kick returns for 81 yards. Some combination of Powell, Michel and Kupp will likely return kicks moving forward.


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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more Rams coverage.