Last night, the Los Angeles Rams pulled out a nail-biting win over the San Francisco 49ers 41-39, in what some people are calling the game of the year. The Rams impressed throughout the game on offense with Jared Goff leading the way at quarterback. Currently, the Rams sit at 2-1, but what does this mean for the Rams overall this year? There are many factors coming into this 2-1 record, so let’s unpack it.
Talking about last night, the offense continued their hot streak. The Rams scored 41 points, to improve their overall average on offense to 35 points a game. This average is up from last year’s abysmal 13 points a game. To say the least, the offense under Sean McVay has improved tremendously. It appears that McVay has figured out what the key is to the offense: Todd Gurley.
Todd Gurley is now the focal point of this Rams offense. Coming into the first year as being a head coach, Sean McVay had to find someone to focus their offense on, and Gurley has shown that he is ready take on that role. Both last week and this week, Gurley has become more involved in the passing game. That is crucial for Jared Goff in this offense. Gurley being available in the passing game allows Goff to have all the options ready, and it opens up the rest of the field for the receivers. Gurley has taken on a leadership role of sorts to allow Goff to become more comfortable in this offense. With Gurley picking up the slack, Jared Goff has been able to improve in his ability as a NFL quarterback.
For the first time in Jared Goff’s professional career, he looks comfortable in a NFL offense. Yesterday, he went 22-28 for 292 yards and three touchdowns. The stats are good, but the command of the offense is key. McVay has allowed Goff to be more comfortable in this offense and has equipped him with all the weapons needed. With those weapons, he is able to spread the wealth around the receivers. When he was at Cal, he was successful with many receivers around him. McVay has done that in Los Angeles for Goff, and now the offense is firing on all cylinders.
The offense, for once, is a strong point for the Rams, but now there are a lot of question marks on the defense. A major problem, to say the least, is allowing 49 points to the 49ers. That is bad in of itself, but there are more problems to go along with it. Then, the Rams went on to allow over 300 yards passing to Brian Hoyer. Let that sink in. We are talking about the same Brian Hoyer that was leading the Cleveland Browns a few years ago. To go along with that, they allowed almost 150 yards to Pierre Garcon. This is abysmal.
This shows one main thing: the secondary is still in dire need. The Rams traded E.J. Gaines this past offseason, and it has shown they let go of their other top cornerback. The secondary has always been an issue for the Rams. If they can’t guard the players in the 49ers receiving corps, they are going to have a problem this season. The other parts of this defense are solid and improving. But, the secondary must be addressed immediately and soon. It is painful to watch and will end up hurting the Rams in the long run.
So, will the Rams be considered legit this year? My gut says because of the secondary, they are not there quite yet. The secondary is a major problem for them. Allowing 300 yards to Brian Hoyer is not something I can get past easily. Goff and Gurley are a combination to be reckoned with in the future if they keep up this production though. Gurley has shown he can be the focal point of this offense and Goff will get him the ball. But, the secondary is something I cannot get past for the Rams. It is going to be the downfall of this team. The Rams will be drastically better than last season, but they are not there quite yet.