The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-17 on Sunday, improving their record to 4-2 on the year. The question in the NFL all year has been if the Rams are legit this year or not. Well, I can tell you after the performance they put on Sunday, it is time to start considering them a contender to make the playoffs.
The win was nice and it did show a lot about the team, but it was more about the adjustments that were key for the Rams. Last week, they looked horrendous against the Seattle Seahawks. Their offense was out of sync, they gave up too many easy plays to the Seahawks, and overall it was a bad performance by the Rams.
This week, it all changed. The adjustments were made and their entire way that they approached the game was different. That is the difference between this year and past years. Past Rams teams have been incapable of adjusting to the NFL game and have not given those certain adjustments necessary for a win. The Rams saw what happened last week and changed their outlook.
They fixed their special teams, they forced the Jaguars into bad position, and most importantly, they got Todd Gurley back in the offense.
The Rams special teams accounted for two of their touchdowns on Sunday, one on a kick return touchdown and a blocked punt for a touchdown. Last week, they could not do anything with special teams and it ended up hurting them. Special Teams coach John Fassel has to be pleased with his unit and how they performed. Those touchdowns were critical in the game, as they were the difference in scoring. Overall, the special teams unit was impressive as a whole.
Similarly, the field position game was critical again, and the Rams won that battle. Their offense did not perform much, but Jacksonville outgained the Rams in total yards, but the Rams won the game. That is big. This means that the Rams took into account how important the field position game was, and adjusted their game plan. Of course, they were helped out by their touchdowns on special teams, but the Rams were still able to perform on short field position.
To go toward the offense, the Rams last week did not get Todd Gurley as involved as they should have, and Gurley just had a bad game. He fumbled out the back of the endzone, and did not get the targets he normally gets from the passing game. This week, he didn’t get the targets, but he got a lot of carries on the ground. He had 23 rushes for 116 yards, averaging around five yards a carry. Getting Gurley back involved in the offense is paramount for this Rams team. Without him in the offense, this Rams team is not the same. Seeing him back involved in the offense shows that the Rams adjusted from last week.
This coaching staff is different. Their adjustments from one game to the next show that fact. In the past, these Rams teams could not perform like this team this year. The coaching staff did not have the understanding of what it took to make sure this team was successful. Now, the combination of Sean McVay and Wade Phillips are a deadly duo.
McVay has the young, fresh face given to the organization that the Rams have needed. He has a brilliant offensive mind, and understands what it means to be successful in the NFL. He has taken a subpar Jared Goff and turned him into a top-10 NFL quarterback. Combining him with Wade Phillips, a defensive master, and you got two lethal weapons in the coaching staff. Phillips saw what needed to be changed in the defense, and made it happen this week. Overall, these coaches are the key to this Rams revitalization, and it is officially exciting to be a Rams fan again.
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