Just one week after clinching their second consecutive division title, the Los Angeles Rams dropped their second game of the season to the Chicago Bears with an underwhelming Sunday Night performance. During the Rams 15-6 loss to the Bears, QB Jared Goff threw four interceptions, while RB Todd Gurley ran for only 28 yards on 11 carries. The Bears defense managed to stop the run game of the Rams, forcing them to throw the ball, which their pass rush also managed to contain. Arguably the best offense in football was stifled and held to a meager 6 points, thanks to an impressive performance by the Bears overwhelming defense.
However, considering the Rams have already secured a playoff berth, the silver lining in all of this might be the experience the coaching staff gained from this loss to determine what went wrong while working on improving those areas before next week. It might also help them prepare new plays in the event these two teams face off again in the playoffs. Personally, after watching Head Coach Sean McVay these past two seasons, I trust him and his staff enough to return to the footage room and draw up new plays that will help the Rams attack the defensive schemes that were successful in stifling their high-tempo offense.
Last week, the Rams became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth while also being the fastest team to do so since 2011 when their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers clinched in Week 13 of that season. The story coming out of this game, however, is how ineffective and unproductive Todd Gurley, the former rushing leader in the NFL now with 1,203 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns, was as a part of the offense. He ran for only 28 yards on 11 carries, falling behind Dallas Cowboys, RB Ezekiel Elliott who has compiled a league leading 1,262 rushing yards. It really was amazing how one of the likely candidates to win this year’s MVP award was unable to perform against the Bears defense.
QB Jarred Goff, who uncharacteristically threw four interceptions on the night with no touchdown passes and just 180 yards was also unable to lead the offense. It seems the only highlight from the Rams pitiful night was that their number one receiver, Robert Woods, broke 1,000 plus receiving yards on the season with a total of 1,032 yards in 71 receptions. Last week McVay’s attitude on clinching the division was that there was still a lot of football left to play and the focus was on improving upon their 11-1 record, which had been the best record in the NFL. “This is special, but we got more work to do,” McVay said. It appears that his words were truer than we expected and probably more accurate than we feared. It seems that a very different Rams team showed up to play against a struggling Detroit Lions team last week than the team that played Chicago Sunday night. Then again, the Bears are leading their division and playoff bound while the Lions are mired at 4 – 8.
Regardless, while the Rams are now tied with the New Orleans Saints for the best record in the NFC, this 11-2 team wants to return to their usual winning ways so that they regain the number one seed over the Saints with three games remaining in the season. This was a tough loss, but not as worrisome for those fans and players who trust the talent on this team and the superior coaching staff led by McVay. This was just one bad week out of fourteen that have seen nothing but dominance and highlight reels. There is still plenty of excitement and confidence surrounding this team, and rightfully so because of the talent on the roster.
For me, I can’t wait to see this special group of players in the playoffs and cannot wait to see Rams and Saints meet in the NFC championship game … but I guess it’s too early make predications. There’s three weeks of football left and who knows what could happen, as Sunday night proved to us all.