After a hot 3-1 start for the Los Angeles Rams, they were cooled off significantly against the Seattle Seahawks, losing the game 16-10. Near the end of that game, the Rams had a multitude of opportunities to put the Seahawks away, but could not as they fumbled the ball away, then could not convert on fourth down. Overall, it was a very disappointing game for the Rams. Nonetheless, let’s look at what they can improve on in the coming weeks.
As stated in last week’s article, the Seahawks prey on young quarterbacks, and that was shown with Jared Goff. He went 22-47 with 288 yards and two interceptions, one of his worst stat lines of the season. He could not get it to his top targets, and the offense in general was poor. He lacked the presence in the pocket that he needed, being sacked twice. It was a game to forget if you are Jared Goff.
Goff must try to improve on being more comfortable in the pocket. As it stands right now, he is comfortable in the offense, but not in the overall standing in the pocket. He has to get the ball out faster. Normally, Goff is generally productive, but this game the Seahawks defense got to him. Not everyone is going to be the Colts defense. He needs to figure out a way to be more confident against these teams with strong defenses. Especially with playing in the NFC West. These defenses are improving by the year, and Goff has to be ready for those defenses. And going off of that, the Rams have a tough defensive test in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Goff must be prepared for another big test this coming weekend.
Another point of emphasis this week is getting the offense back in a solid rhythm. Usually, the offense has a solid outing, but last weekend was terrible. Todd Gurley, who has been performing extremely well this season, only had 43 yards on 14 carries and fumbled out the back of the endzone, which would have put the Rams ahead. The only touchdown the Rams had was an end-around play by Tavon Austin, and that play works maybe once every 6 weeks.
If you’re looking at what to improve, start with holding onto the football. The Rams have lost two games this year and in both games they have fumbled three times. That has to stop. Fumbling in the preseason also killed the Rams. It showed that this will be a problem for the Rams come the future. In their three wins, they were better when it came to fumbles. However, when you fumble three times in one game, you deserve to lose.
Another thing the Rams need to work on is stopping from giving teams such good field position. The Rams outgained the Seahawks 375-241, yet the Seahawks won the game 16-10. That means that the Rams kept giving up good field position to the Seahawks, and they were successful in executing. The Rams had more first downs and yards per play, but once again, they lost because of turnovers and bad field position.
The Rams punting game led by Johnny Hekker has been good, but covering the punts has not been their strong point. Hekker gets the ball deep down field, but the Rams could never stop the returns. Hekker is doing his job, but the Rams special teams has been lacking and must fix this. Football is all about field position, and the Rams could not control field position, which ended up hurting them in the game.
There are no excuses here. The Rams should have won this game. They did everything right statistically, except for the turnovers. They have had problems with these turnovers in their loses, and it proved fatal for them against the Seahawks. Their offense was suffocated by the Seahawks defense, which is bad considering the Jaguars are a better defensive team statistically speaking. If the Rams want any shot at equaling their win total from last year, they must focus on getting Goff relaxed in the pocket, and just fixing the offense as a whole.