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  • A Major Disappointment-Weaknesses Exposed

    Can't say I'm surprised at getting beat tonight. I told anyone who cared to listen I didn't like the matchup with a defending NFC Champ and Matt Ryan. That, coupled with special teams mistakes and an offense that looked nervous early and lost for much of the night proved fatal. Losing provides clarity (at least for me) on many issues that we face moving forward.

    Our offense did virtually nothing all night versus a defense not considered a top-of-the-line bunch. And we were exposed as a group with major flaws despite its prolific scoring totals this season. We demonstrate no ability to stretch the defense and are over-reliant on Gurley check-downs. Sammy Watkins had one of the most embarrassing no-show performances for a supposed "superstar" that I can ever remember a player having. And this from a guy who wants a mega-deal. Three guys caught passes all night. And he wasn't one of them, including a drop on a catchable ball at the end of the game when we still had a pulse. A disgraceful performance. He should donate his check to charity.

    Pharoh Cooper killed us. His two fumbles (one in which he was helped by Countess) dug us an early hole from which we never really recovered. Pro Bowl players don't do this, I'm sorry- don't talk to me about how good he is.

    Jared Goff looked lost for much of the night. Despite excellent protection and a few nice throws, he never got on track, misfired on a number of attempts and couldn't generate much- a total departure from what we saw for much of the season. For Goff to be fully embraced, he's gonna' have to perform well in the playoffs- a point that was raised on another thread earlier in the week. Tonight, he was average at best.

    Let's put away the Vince Lombardi comparisons for now; McVay still has much to learn and was outcoached. As good as he was for much of the year, he was equally poor tonight. From the game's first drive, I saw an uninspired game plan-no cohesion, ingenuity or play calling brilliance once the game took a bad turn. Coming in, everybody and their brother knew Atlanta would key on Gurley and make Goff beat us, and what do we do? Throw an overabundance of screens and checkdowns to him.

    The defense, who for the most part came to play, broke down twice at the worst possible times- a trend that seemed to happen with some frequency this season. The first failure was allowing a 13 play drive to start the 2nd half after we'd pulled to within 3 points. And the 2nd breakdown was allowing the 52 yard catch to Sanu, which broke our backs. We also didn't put the kind of relentless pressure on Ryan that is necessary to derail a former league MVP.

    Maybe in two weeks, I'll look back and be more grateful for a winning season and a playoff game, but right now I'm just disgusted that we lost a game we had every opportunity to win.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -01-06-2018, 09:11 PM.

  • #2
    I agree with a lot of that but, as is common, you’re a bit too harsh on Goff. Not saying he was great, but he’’s pretty low on the list of the reasons why we lost.

    Hopefully this will prove to be a learning experience for all the young Rams, including McVay.

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel terrible for Andrew Whitworth. I completely forgot that he was a part of all those Bengal teams that were one-and-done in the playoffs and now he suffers the same fate with us. Here's to hoping we can let him taste victory in the playoffs soon (like, you know, next year).

      Comment


      • #4
        I know you're upset. The game was pretty simple. They were not a better team and we were not exposed. Neither team started out well. In fact we were playing better defense and winning the field position battle until the first dreaded turnover. That flipped the field gave them 3 points and the momentum. Then another turnover. 10 easy pts off turnovers. Huge key to the final outcome. The next big key was the start of the second half. We had the momentum but they come out and pound the ball after we lose our best run defender in Brockers. They burned up over 8 minutes. We never got into a rythem in the first half and now the second half was shortened. Hence they never got Gurley going. Atl only had the one big play in the 4th quarter to seal the game. That's Football. Young team. Learn and go forward.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Curly Horns View Post
          I know you're upset. The game was pretty simple. They were not a better team and we were not exposed. Neither team started out well. In fact we were playing better defense and winning the field position battle until the first dreaded turnover. That flipped the field gave them 3 points and the momentum. Then another turnover. 10 easy pts off turnovers. Huge key to the final outcome. The next big key was the start of the second half. We had the momentum but they come out and pound the ball after we lose our best run defender in Brockers. They burned up over 8 minutes. We never got into a rythem in the first half and now the second half was shortened. Hence they never got Gurley going. Atl only had the one big play in the 4th quarter to seal the game. That's Football. Young team. Learn and go forward.
          I agree with your comments about the start of the game and momentum. I wholeheartedly disagree with your third sentence. Though before the game I thought otherwise, I can't sit here today and say we are better than Atlanta because on the big stage- the place that it matters- we didn't get it done. But for the few minutes before the Cooper fumbles and a brief time before the half we were outplayed. And when you generate nothing offensively by looking nervous then discombobulated for much of the night, you're exposed as a team whose regular season success masks some very real weaknesses.: An overreliance on Gurley in the passing game and not running him enough. The Sammy Watkins periodic disappearing act. Higbee's lack of production. Ball security in the return game. THREE GUYS caught balls last night. That's something we'd see in a Fisher offense.

          And I don't entirely buy the "youth" excuse- one many seem to selectively use after poor play, and one which was seemingly used each year of the Fisher regime. Different group and a different situation, of course, but many of us seem to extoll the virtues of youth when we win and claim "we're too young" when we get beat. There are myriad examples in every major sport of teams who are able to perform well despite their overall youth. And tonight the Rams failed in that pursuit.

          Thinking it's a given we'll be back next season because we were here tonight is a mistake. We have a LOT of work to do to take the next step.

          Comment


          • #6
            As usual, I agree with pretty much all of your analysis and opinions. Last night's game was a big disappointment, and I can't console myself with the points that the team had a great turn-around season or that we have a lot of young players. I am very surprised and disappointed that the team we watched all year didn't show up in such a momentous game. This is a year-to-year league, without any guarantees of future success. We won our division this year, were in the tournament, and came right out and laid a big egg. I am not one who will be thanking and congratulating the team "for a great year". I might feel differently if they had showed up, played their game but got beat. They didn't.

            There's 2 realities in the modern NFL: the real one that involves humans competing against each other on the field, and the virtual one that includes "fantasy" football and the ridiculous sports media, yammering on 24/7 about their fabricated narratives. McVay and the exciting young Rams got a lot of love in the virtual realm this year, and were the subject of ridiculous flattery. But they have a lot of weaknesses and imperfections in the real one, which have been well-described by many posters on this board. My own take on some of the major issues:
            • Get worthy successors to Whitworth and Sullivan on the roster and develop them to take over in about a year. Generally, build the depth on this unit. We had tremendous luck with lack on injuries on this unit this season, but that can't be relied on.
            • Get a 2 back running game going. We need a change of pace running back, and it ain't Tavon Austin. Perhaps that was supposed to by Dunbar, and was derailed due to his injury. In any event, it better be part of the plan for next year.
            • Must add athletic and speedy guys at LB and DB, who can defend the pass game. We gave up way too many 3rd down conversions through the air.
            • McVay must learn to be more balanced and patient with his offensive attack. Perhaps that change of pace RB will help here. As has been observed by many, he is often overly clever and quick to fall out of balance and rely on the passing game when the going gets tough.
            • I don't know what to say about Watkins. If we hadn't given up a second rounder for him, I'd say to let him walk. He disappears all the time, and often seems to lack effort. I'd like to see what he can do with a full offseason in the offense, but we have to make a decision about his contract now. Tough decision.
            • The reality is that this team has no home field advantage, and that's a huge disadvantage. That must change, but it's difficult to see how it will anytime soon with another couple of seasons using a giant open-air olympic track and field stadium as a temporary home field.
            Lot's of challenges to continuing to improve and to getting back in the tournament. This offseason is another big test for McVay and Snead. It will be very telling about our prospects for the McVay era to see how well they do addressing issues and evolving the team after having gone through a full campaign.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post

              I agree with your comments about the start of the game and momentum. I wholeheartedly disagree with your third sentence. Though before the game I thought otherwise, I can't sit here today and say we are better than Atlanta because on the big stage- the place that it matters- we didn't get it done. But for the few minutes before the Cooper fumbles and a brief time before the half we were outplayed. And when you generate nothing offensively by looking nervous then discombobulated for much of the night, you're exposed as a team whose regular season success masks some very real weaknesses.: An overreliance on Gurley in the passing game and not running him enough. The Sammy Watkins periodic disappearing act. Higbee's lack of production. Ball security in the return game. THREE GUYS caught balls last night. That's something we'd see in a Fisher offense.

              And I don't entirely buy the "youth" excuse- one many seem to selectively use after poor play, and one which was seemingly used each year of the Fisher regime. Different group and a different situation, of course, but many of us seem to extoll the virtues of youth when we win and claim "we're too young" when we get beat. There are myriad examples in every major sport of teams who are able to perform well despite their overall youth. And tonight the Rams failed in that pursuit.

              Thinking it's a given we'll be back next season because we were here tonight is a mistake. We have a LOT of work to do to take the next step.
              A lot of Fans analyze these games in a bubble. It seems as though they don't even consider that their team is playing a top notch opponent in a do or die game. We all know that both teams are paid to execute and win. Atlanta has a top 10 defense. What's more their defense is peaking and playing at a very high level. Do you disagree with that? For Pete's sake, you said you didn't like the match-up going in? What did you expect, a blowout or a close hard fought playoff game? I really don't understand the analysis by a lot of folks.

              Well guess what? Without the 10 easy points it's a 16-13 game. Without the 10 easy points the game is played out entirely different. You all know how key turnovers are. Especially so in the playoffs against a top notch defense. Especially so when your team does not force any turnovers of their own. If you are going to be stupid and incompetent and fumble away the ball then you damn well better force some fumbles or picks. If you don't then the probability of losing in the playoffs is high.

              In the playoffs, where games are usually close, I don't know how far we would have went after losing our kicker.

              Sure we need to improve, but that's always a given. No matter how good you get if you are going to turn the ball over on your side of the field and give up easy points then you will most likely lose.

              Now about this "youth excuse". Where in the heck did I offer that as an excuse? I simply said "Young Team". Do you disagree? Is this not a young team? I also simply said "Learn and go forward", Do you disagree with that? Do you disagree that players, young or seasoned, should learn from their mistakes and move on? Inventing stuff to argue about and ignoring the blatant turnovers that were the underlying reason for the loss does not help your analysis.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Curly Horns View Post

                A lot of Fans analyze these games in a bubble. It seems as though they don't even consider that their team is playing a top notch opponent in a do or die game. We all know that both teams are paid to execute and win. Atlanta has a top 10 defense. What's more their defense is peaking and playing at a very high level. Do you disagree with that? For Pete's sake, you said you didn't like the match-up going in? What did you expect, a blowout or a close hard fought playoff game? I really don't understand the analysis by a lot of folks.

                Well guess what? Without the 10 easy points it's a 16-13 game. Without the 10 easy points the game is played out entirely different. You all know how key turnovers are. Especially so in the playoffs against a top notch defense. Especially so when your team does not force any turnovers of their own. If you are going to be stupid and incompetent and fumble away the ball then you damn well better force some fumbles or picks. If you don't then the probability of losing in the playoffs is high.

                In the playoffs, where games are usually close, I don't know how far we would have went after losing our kicker.

                Sure we need to improve, but that's always a given. No matter how good you get if you are going to turn the ball over on your side of the field and give up easy points then you will most likely lose.

                Now about this "youth excuse". Where in the heck did I offer that as an excuse? I simply said "Young Team". Do you disagree? Is this not a young team? I also simply said "Learn and go forward", Do you disagree with that? Do you disagree that players, young or seasoned, should learn from their mistakes and move on? Inventing stuff to argue about and ignoring the blatant turnovers that were the underlying reason for the loss does not help your analysis.
                True that the turnovers were a huge factor. But you're kidding yourself if you believe that the Rams O and ST otherwise played well enough to win that game.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Seacone View Post

                  True that the turnovers were a huge factor. But you're kidding yourself if you believe that the Rams O and ST otherwise played well enough to win that game.
                  And you are kidding yourself if you believe our O should have blown out their league leading defense. And you are ignoring the truth that it's a 16-13 game without the 10 easy points. Instead of going for the TD at the end it's a FG to tie. But, it's probably safer in the bubble.
                  Last edited by Curly Horns; -01-07-2018, 11:23 AM. Reason: clarify

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You make some very good points NJ, but there are a few statements I disagree with.

                    Our offense did virtually nothing all night versus a defense not considered a top-of-the-line bunch. And we were exposed as a group with major flaws despite its prolific scoring totals this season.
                    As has been pointed out, Atlanta did indeed have a top-of-the-line bunch. 8th in points allowed, 9th in yards allowed. Gurley rushed for 101 yards, Goff passed for 259 yards, and if it wasn't for the end of the first half, and a TD drop by Higbee, the point total most likely would have been much higher, and made it a close game. In both of those instances, Goff led the offense on long drives, mostly through the air. Hardly "nothing" IMO.

                    Jared Goff looked lost for much of the night. Despite excellent protection and a few nice throws, he never got on track, misfired on a number of attempts and couldn't generate much- a total departure from what we saw for much of the season. For Goff to be fully embraced, he's gonna' have to perform well in the playoffs- a point that was raised on another thread earlier in the week. Tonight, he was average at best.
                    Goff was far from stellar, but while he did look a bit lost in the first quarter, he absolutely did not get excellent protection. He was under constant pressure in that first quarter, being sacked twice. When the OL settled in, so did Goff. He could have easily crumpled like tin foil, but he didn't. He kept his composure, and IMO, did a good job leading the offense after that disastrous first quarter. In fact, Chris Collinsworth noted how poised, calm, and in control Goff looked, and marveled at several of the passes he threw.

                    Thinking it's a given we'll be back next season because we were here tonight is a mistake. We have a LOT of work to do to take the next step.
                    I respectfully disagree with "a LOT".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mike, I think your make good points about Goff. He did settle down and was throwing the ball with great confidence just before halftime. Collinsworth even remarked on that point. Where I feel Goff was unsteady throughout the game was on checkdowns as he missed some very easy throws to Gurley on screens or dump-offs. Conversely he threw some great passes to Woods both before halftime and on the 4th qtr. drive with 3rd and long (15 yds I believe). The Watkins drop on the long pass in 4th qtr was as much a great defensive play by the CB as a poor play by a WR who is supposed to have strong hands for contested catches. He was also "held" by Jones in the end zone on our final play, but that's life.

                      Losing Brockers was a huge loss to our run defense as the first drive of the 3rd qtr. proved. TruJo was also less than stellar in his coverage of Julio Jones.

                      Having pointed blame to the Rams, I think it warrants saying the Atl deserves credit for crafting a good defensive gameplan against us. They also seemed to make the right blocking scheme adjustments at halftime as we weren't able to touch Matt Ryan in the 2nd half, best I can recall. We had disrupted him pretty good in the first half.

                      The final point of NOT having a LOT of work to do is also correct IMO. We didn't win 11 games by being overly flawed. Like every team we have work to do and I'm very comfortable that our players and coaches will take some good learning from last night. We are a damn good team and will contest for the playoffs again next year. Ominous sign for Tavon, I don't think he saw the field at all.

                      Go Rams!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post
                        Where I feel Goff was unsteady throughout the game was on checkdowns as he missed some very easy throws to Gurley on screens or dump-offs.
                        I agree completely. Despite not being perfect throws, I think Gurley should have caught some of them, but the short stuff is where Goff really fell short.

                        Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post
                        Ominous sign for Tavon, I don't think he saw the field at all.
                        I noticed that as well, and thought it was a bit strange that he didn't even see the field for a single play. He was obviously being fazed out of the offense, but still provided some problems for opposing defenses as a decoy. I would think it would be worth giving him a few plays, but I guess McVay didn't agree. I think it's safe to say the writing is on the wall for Tavon.







                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The unwillingness of some to be critical of Goff astounds me- it really does. I'm firmly convinced that until our QB gets 15 seconds to throw the ball each down and three all-pro wide receivers to throw to there will always be a ready-made rationalization for why he falters.The refrain never changes. Goff was certainly not terrible and delivered some good balls. Pinning the loss primarily on him would be misguided. But one needs to greatly elevate their game in the playoffs, and he was a far cry from the player whose praises we sung this season. He unfortunately had plenty of company.

                          Goff was not under a fierce rush all night, especially after the first two drives of the game. I watched the game saying to myself each time he dropped back that the line was giving him adequate time to deliver the ball, and I stand by those thoughts.

                          I probably undervalued Atlanta's defense a bit, but certainly shouldn't have sat around saying "Oh my God, we're facing the Atlanta defense tonight! A 13 point output against that group to me is a poor showing, especially when we averaged twice that during the regular season.Total passing yardage is misleading- especially when you throw the ball 45 times. And Gurley's totals were a bit skewed as well, some of which came on a couple of long runs. He was also a complete non-factor in the passing game. I never got the feeling Goff and his receivers were in sync or able to move the ball at will, and in fact we were aided by sizeable chunks of Atlanta penalty yardage on several drives.

                          I don't consider last night's game a "close" game, and we never could get over the hump. Only once- at the end of the first half- did I have a good feeling about the Rams making a game of it. Those feelings were immediately erased when Atlanta came out and shoved it down our throats to start the 3rd quarter.

                          I'd feel a lot better about the loss had we played a really good game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Turnovers did in fact kill us the first qtr. But the score at halftime was 13-10 with the mo on side of the Rams. Then in the second half we got manhandled. Losing Brockers was a contributing factor but so were missed tackles and third down conversion after conversion. We scored three points in the second half. We got schooled. Plain and simple.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Seacone View Post
                              As usual, I agree with pretty much all of your analysis and opinions. Last night's game was a big disappointment, and I can't console myself with the points that the team had a great turn-around season or that we have a lot of young players. I am very surprised and disappointed that the team we watched all year didn't show up in such a momentous game. This is a year-to-year league, without any guarantees of future success. We won our division this year, were in the tournament, and came right out and laid a big egg. I am not one who will be thanking and congratulating the team "for a great year". I might feel differently if they had showed up, played their game but got beat. They didn't.

                              There's 2 realities in the modern NFL: the real one that involves humans competing against each other on the field, and the virtual one that includes "fantasy" football and the ridiculous sports media, yammering on 24/7 about their fabricated narratives. McVay and the exciting young Rams got a lot of love in the virtual realm this year, and were the subject of ridiculous flattery. But they have a lot of weaknesses and imperfections in the real one, which have been well-described by many posters on this board. My own take on some of the major issues:
                              • Get worthy successors to Whitworth and Sullivan on the roster and develop them to take over in about a year. Generally, build the depth on this unit. We had tremendous luck with lack on injuries on this unit this season, but that can't be relied on.
                              • Get a 2 back running game going. We need a change of pace running back, and it ain't Tavon Austin. Perhaps that was supposed to by Dunbar, and was derailed due to his injury. In any event, it better be part of the plan for next year.
                              • Must add athletic and speedy guys at LB and DB, who can defend the pass game. We gave up way too many 3rd down conversions through the air.
                              • McVay must learn to be more balanced and patient with his offensive attack. Perhaps that change of pace RB will help here. As has been observed by many, he is often overly clever and quick to fall out of balance and rely on the passing game when the going gets tough.
                              • I don't know what to say about Watkins. If we hadn't given up a second rounder for him, I'd say to let him walk. He disappears all the time, and often seems to lack effort. I'd like to see what he can do with a full offseason in the offense, but we have to make a decision about his contract now. Tough decision.
                              • The reality is that this team has no home field advantage, and that's a huge disadvantage. That must change, but it's difficult to see how it will anytime soon with another couple of seasons using a giant open-air olympic track and field stadium as a temporary home field.
                              Lot's of challenges to continuing to improve and to getting back in the tournament. This offseason is another big test for McVay and Snead. It will be very telling about our prospects for the McVay era to see how well they do addressing issues and evolving the team after having gone through a full campaign.
                              Excellent comments and analysis of what we must do moving forward. I feel as talented as he is, we nonetheless have an over-reliance on Gurley, especially in the passing game. He also needs a solid back-up to spell him from time to time (remember what Barry Redden did for Dickerson back in the day?). It was mentioned several times late in the game that Gurley was sucking wind.

                              McVay indeed needs to stop being so damn pass-happy and extend drives.

                              Whitworth is no spring chicken and successors need to be established. We suffered no real devastating injuries this year but can't get caught thin on the O-line.

                              Don't know that the Rams will ever have the type of home field advantage we'd all like to see. Certainly isn't going to happen at the cavernous Colosieum.

                              I was genuinely angry with Watkins last night. He gave us nothing, and it takes tremendous cojones for him to think he's an elite player worthy of a huge contract. Can you imagine any other truly gifted #1 receiver getting shut out in a playoff game??

                              It is indeed a year-to-year league. And one area where I think youth IS A FACTOR is in young guys believing that it's a given they'll be back. There's no such animal. You have to take advantage of the opportunities you DO get and take nothing for granted. That was lost on some of the current Rams.

                              And yes- you're still disappointed but feel better about a loss if you played well in defeat. We didn't, and it makes me question what we actually have in some of these guys.
                              Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -01-07-2018, 03:29 PM.

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                              • general counsel
                                Rams choke chiefs 54-51; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams pushed their record to 10-1 with a dramatic 54-51 monday night football victory over kansas city in one of the most exciting NFL games ever played. Led by a signature performance from Jared Goff that included some late game heroics, the Rams scored plenty of points, but it was the five turnovers and two touchdowns scored by the defense that made the difference in this game. In fact, in the history of the NFL, no team has EVER played better defense than tonight's Rams while still allowing 51 points! The Rams overcame six Mahomes touchdown passes, 546 yards of offense, give sacks on Goff, two Goff fumbles, one of which resulted in a kansas city touchdown, a missed extra point, an incredibly lucky break late in the fourth quarter when Skandrick dropped an easy interception that probalby would have put the game away for the chiefs and some bizarre play calling by McVay, especially at the end, to emerge with the signature win. Make no mistake about it, this was a championship caliber win and while NFL fans around the world were all screaming great game all night, all of us Rams fans were in cardiac arrest mode for almost the entire game as the lead switched hands multiple times as each team marched up and down the field. Tonight belongs to Goff, Ebukam and Donald, although it was certainly a team effort. Absolutely sensational way for both the Rams and all of us to head into both Thanksgiving and the bye week.

                                The Good

                                Samson Ebukam was a man possessed tonight. Off the charts phenomenal athletic play to intercept Mahomes and run the ball back 25 yards for the touchdown, running over two kansas city players for the last five yards. He also recovered the fumble late in the first half caused by the Donald sack and scored on the play. In addition, he hit Mahomes on the arm leading to a critical interception by Peters late in the fourth quarter. He also had a sack in the game. By a HUGE margain, his best game as a Ram.

                                Aaron Donald was sensational, especially in the first half where he had two sack fumbles, one of which led to the ebukam touchdown and the other of which was recovered by John Franklin Myers after a mad scramble where we got lucky when the kansas city lineman could not fall on the ball that was directly in front of him.

                                Sometimes its just as important to be lucky as good. Critical play late in the fourth quarter, Rams out of timeouts. Goff makes a terrible throw that hits Skandrick in the hands and he drops it. If he makes that catch, the game is probably over and we lose. Skandrick got burned all night, but that one play probably cost kansas city the game.

                                Goff had a great night with 31-49-413 4 touchdowns throwing and one running for a qb rating of 117.1. Most importantly, after stumbling a couple of times late in the game, Goff got it done with no timeouts by driving the Rams down the field to score what proved to be the winning touchdown with under...
                                -11-19-2018, 11:20 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams vanquish vikings 38-31; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams pushed their record to 4-0 for the first time since 2001, riding a near perfect performance by Jared Goff to a 38-31 playoff caliber victory over Minnesota. The Rams had 556 yards of offense, but were unable to close it out at the end and it was their defense that held on to clinch the victory. Playing on a short week and without Talib, the defensive line finally stepped up with the game on the line with Donald and Suh both playing very well and John Franklin-Myers getting the deciding sack/fumble for the only turnover of the game for either team. It was certainly high stress level for all Rams fans in the Coliseum after the Rams went 3 and out with a little over 3 minutes left in the game and Hekker getting off a lousy punt after McVay decided not to go for it on 4th and inches from his own 35 yard line. A missed 28 yard kick by Ficken and our failure to stick in the end zone after a 1st and goal at the 6 kept the game alive far too long, but the bottom line is the Rams got it done tonight against a really good opponent in a game that has to give the Rams and their fans real confidence that they truly have a legitimate chance at a special season and a real franchise quarterback for many years to come.

                                The Good

                                Goff had his best game as a pro with a perfect 158.3 passer rating on 26-33-465 and 5 touchdowns. He passed for over 250 yards and 4 td's in the first half and was perfectly on target all night. Some of the throws were really spectacular and the throw into the corner of the end zone to Kupp over two defenders was absolutely perfect. He hit receivers dead in stride all night, including TD's to Kupp for 70 yards (ok zimmer, putting a linebacker on receivers might not be such a great idea), gurley, cooks 47 yards, woods and Kupp again. He made some nice audible calls at the line, including a couple of really nice screen calls. If i want to be picky in the absolute extreme, i will say that he could still do a better job checking off when he sees a run blitz, but with the game he played tonight, there is no way any sane person can complain about him, call him a system quarterback, or second guess the draft pick. Absolutely sensational, no other way to put it.

                                Donald finally showed tonight why he gets the huge money with five tackles and two big sacks. The Rams had four sacks, one by Suh and the game winner by Myers (the fumble was recovered by Suh) in addition to the two from Donald. I thought Suh played pretty well, as did Johnson with 11 tackles, littleton with 9 and sam shields, who had a huge pass break up that saved a td. The run defense was good, 54 yards allowed on 17 carries, 20 plus of which came on one run and 10 plus of which came on a scramble by Cousins. Peters played a gutsy game, he certainly didnt look 100 percent to me but he was out there and will now have ten days to rest.

                                Gurley was excellent with 17-83 and 4-73 receiving. The offensive line was great...
                                -09-27-2018, 09:49 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams lose 15-6 to chicago; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams dropped to 11-2 tonight with an ugly 15-6 road loss to the chicago bears. Tonight's loss had nothing to do with the extremely loud bears home crowd and nothing to do with the 29 degree weather, and everything to do with a dominant bears defense and a horrible night for Goff. The Rams were unable to find any method of getting Gurley to be a factor in this game, and that, more than anything else, is the common factor in games the Rams have lost in the McVay era. The Rams offensive woes wasted a solid effort by the defense which intercepted the bears 3 times, gave the offense some solid field position and every chance to win the game with even a mediocre performance. The bears played great defensively and deserve a ton of credit, but there is plenty to be seriously concerned about if the Rams really want to make a run at the super bowl as they are going to face other tough defenses ahead. In fact, tonight's game had many common elements to last week's showing against detroit, with the difference being that the bears are a really good team and the lions are lousy.

                                The Good

                                The defense had three interceptions (Peters, Robey-Coleman and Johnson) and twice those interceptions gave the Rams the ball in the red zone or close to it on strong runbacks. The rams held chicago to 19 first downs, less than 300 yards of total offense and 110 yards of passing. Nice sack for Fowler/Franklin-Myers early in the game. The defense also played well in the red zone for the most part keeping the bears from getting way ahead while the offense was doing absolutely nothing and hung in there despite the time of possession problems caused by the pathetic offense. This included a stop after the first goff int where the bears had a first and goal at the four and only managed a field goal. In short, while the defense could have done better against the run, the defense absolutely played well enough to win if the top offense in the league had even remotely showed up.

                                The fake punt was effective, although it took a review to prevent the Rams from getting screwed on the spot for the second time this year.
                                Saffold and Sullivan both made it back into the game after injuries knocked them out for a play or two each.
                                Leg made two field goals, including a 50 yarder (but see below on the costly miss)


                                The Bad

                                Hard to say where to start. The Rams had 14 first downs and only 23 minutes time of possession. Only 214 yards of total offense, about 230 below our average. Four turnovers on interceptions plus a fumble by goff that we recovered. No room at all for gurley to run the entire game and we gave up way too soon on the running game. Gurley wound up with 11-28 and 3 catches for 30 yards. We had 93 yards of offense in the first half and zero first downs in the third quarter. We were also an awful 3-12 on third down.

                                9 penalties for 57 yards including some terrible pre snap...
                                -12-09-2018, 10:50 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams lose to philadelphia 30-23; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                For the second sunday night in a row, the Rams laid an egg on national television, losing at home to philadelphia 30-23 to drop their record to 11-3. The Rams are simply not playing like a super bowl contender and frankly have looked just lousy since coming out of the bye week. Tonight marks the first time in the mcvay era that the Rams lost two in a row, and the knee injury to Todd Gurley, along with continued subpar play from Goff and the offensive line leaves the Rams reeling at the most important point of the season. Once again, it is clear that championships can not be won in september, october and november. The Rams were 9-0 and rolling and 10-1 heading into the bye week after a huge win against Kansas City (in which they got incredibly lucky because if Skandrick catches the ball that hit him in the hands late in the 4th quarter the Rams lose that game as well). Since that point, they are 1-2 and have been effectively getting worse every week. Tonight's opponent was not a dominant chicago team playing at home in cold weather. It was a sub .500 team playing with a backup qb that had been torched for 586 yards last week by a team that got shut out earlier today. Furthermore, philadelphia is so banged up in the secondary there are no words to describe their situation. However, when your qb can not seem to throw accurately with guys in his face and your offensive line does not give your qb time, generally speaking, bad things are going to happen. Throw in no functional pass rush as Donald was once again double teamed on every play and no one else was able to get pressure along with losing the turnover battle 3-1 and going 2-6 in the red zone and you have another bad loss. I was highly confident the Rams were going to win this game and win it big, but i guess Dragoon was the only one on the board that saw this coming so kudos to him, although i am sure he would love to have been wrong. The Rams now have to beat both arizona and the whiners to clinch the #2 seed (unless chicago loses a game) and while that might seem simple on paper, with the gurley injury and the way goff is playing, nothing is a sure thing right now in any way.

                                The Good

                                The Rams rallied at the end and had a chance to tie it up. They also had a nice 75 yard drive on their second possession of the game for a td. Gurley had 2 td runs and caught 10 balls for 76 yards in a valiant effort playing with the injured knee. He had a really nice first half running with 49 yards, and then of course mcvay gave up on the running game as the Rams dug themselves a big hole field position and turnover wise and were forced to throw all the time.

                                Johnson had a terrific game in the secondary, saving a td against ertz (who we did a nice job on) and making 14 tackles.
                                Goff made one real nice throw down the field all night, the almost td to reynolds in the fourth quarter.
                                The defense got some stops and kept us in the game with a chance at...
                                -12-16-2018, 09:41 PM
                              • NJ Ramsfan1
                                Thoughts and Observations
                                by NJ Ramsfan1
                                The Rams picked the absolute worst time for an offensive clunker, laying an egg in the Super Bowl, and there were plenty of culprits. Start with Gurley, who showed again that he's obviously hurt, despite the repeated and ridiculous proclamations to the contrary by the organization, McVay and Gurley himself. Was a tight end's name mentioned all night? Higbee and Everett apparently went into Witness Protection, because they were totally invisible. Ditto for Robert Woods, who contributed virtually nothing. Only Reynolds and Cooks carried their weight offensively though Cooks' two drops killed us (more on this later).

                                Goff could never get it going. He wasn't helped, as his offensive line played poorly for much of the night, especially Austin Blythe, who was tossed around like a salad every time I watched him. Goff nonetheless took a couple of ill-advised sacks and was skittish on throws when pressure came. He continued his pattern of making bad reads from time to time, trying to hit covered receivers while others roamed free. It's his biggest weakness, IMO, and one has to hope it's the byproduct of youth which will be improved with reps and experience.

                                Three pivotal plays changed the course of this game. One was the phantom holding call on Sullivan during Gurley's 27 yard run- a call that changed the drive and forced a punt. Terrible, over-officious call. And plays two and three were the drops by Cooks- difficult catches for sure, but ones made by big time players in big time moments. The 2nd one in particular on a beautifully thrown ball by Goff REALLY hurt, as a possible 10-10 tie was replaced by an interception thrown one play later. Game over.

                                McVay was outcoached. One can safely say that because when a man's bread and butter- offensive football- is reduced to a pile of trash on the biggest stage in the sport, he didn't do a good job and had no answers. Why weren't the tight ends incorporated more? Why wasn't CJ Anderson given a bigger role given Gurley's continued troubles? The Goff fake handoff and play action fooled no one. And I think if the offense is predicated too much on the success of one guy (Gurley), you're going to have problems, as evidenced tonight.

                                Credit Phillips, who had the defense ready. They played well enough to win, and despite their lousy coverage of Edelman, made stops when needed and kept New England off the scoreboard. We'll certainly see some changes for next year, but couldn't have asked too much more from them- this defeat rests squarely on the offensive side of the ball. And if you had bet me this would be the way the game would go, I'd have lost my shirt.

                                In time, I'll appreciate the season we had, but in sports, you must take advantage of opportunities given to you in Championship Games, because you never know if or when you'll ever get back. A bitter pill to swallow on so many levels....
                                -02-04-2019, 04:29 AM
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