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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

Sean Payton blames Rams’ coverages for Brandin Cooks’ zero targets Sunday


The Los Angeles Rams defense didn’t get a lot right on Sunday, giving up 49 points in a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. But one thing they did manage to do was neutralize wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Saints head coach Sean Payton pointed the finger at the Rams’ coverages for the disappearing act of Cooks, who failed to receive a single target in the Week 12 victory for New Orleans.

“I think part of it’s the result of some of the coverages,” Payton said after the game, per Mike Triplett of ESPN. “There were certainly calls with his name and number on it, and periodically once in a while that can happen.”

The Saints have had the luxury this season of not having to rely on an undisputed No. 1 receiver, but Cooks’ lack of involvement Sunday is still curious nevertheless. Michael Thomas managed 10 targets, Willie Snead got 7, while undrafted tight end Josh Hill earned 6, and it’s not like the Rams secondary is particularly elite anyway.

For the 23-year-old Cooks, who is working on season totals of 51 receptions for 736 yards and six touchdowns, it’s worth keeping an eye on to see if he’s looking at anything of a diminished role moving forward because he can’t celebrate if he doesn’t get a chance to catch the ball.

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