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Tonight's loss- Revelations and Observations

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  • Tonight's loss- Revelations and Observations

    The Rams have enjoyed two back-to-back excellent seasons resulting in two NFC West titles. They've been the deserving recipients of much praise during that time and have made football fun again. That said, some observations must be made.

    Though not unexpected by me, tonight's loss was nonetheless disappointing. Credit the Bears, a good team who tonight were better, hungrier, more disciplined and tougher- overcoming a 3 int performance by their QB, who was rusty after a two-week absence, And thumbs down to Sean McVay, who continues to bewilder with his periodic unwillingness to utilize Gurley in the running game. This infatuation with the pass when you have the game's best back is mind-boggling to me. Certainly McVay is intelligent enough to know that play action only works when you establish a running game. Otherwise, the ball fake means nothing and defenses aren't fooled. Tonight, his unwillingness to get Gurley going early hurt the offense. It's almost like McVay overthinks stuff from time to time. And the use of timeouts- including an ugly stretch where we used two of them in a three second span- continues to conjure up images of Mike Martz. We simply have to have a better handle on processing play calls.

    Goff, for all of the tremendous strides he's made, still has much work to do. He had the absolute worst game he's had in the McVay regime, looking totally lost and displaying the lack of poise shown in his rookie year. His mistakes were numerous and came in all areas of play. He misfired on numerous throws, missed open receivers, forced balls, showed poor pocket presence and threw 4 interceptions- one of which immediately followed a Rams defensive pick. Goff has regressed the past two weeks, and as we head towards the playoffs, this is a concern. It begs the question "Who is Jared Goff?" Is he a guy who needs everything to be perfect including great protection, a great back, and the weather to succeed? Or is he a guy who can succeed despite adverse conditions? Is he truly a potentially elite QB or simply the beneficiary of a lot of surrounding talent and a brilliant coach? His performance tonight feeds the stereotype of the West Coast/warm climate player: a guy who isn't tough and performs poorly in less-than-ideal weather and with some pressure in his face.

    Tonight's game also drove home a point I've made time and again- to the disagreement of some in today's fantasy-driven offensive-minded NFL: Defense is still very important. The high-flying Rams were grounded tonight. And with the big names we have on defense, we have to be able to do this to a New Orleans, a New England or a Kansas City if we see them again.

    Moving forward, I want to see improved balance from McVay with Gurley getting the opportunity to establish things early. I want continued improvement from the defense. And I want Goff to rebound from two sub-par weeks of football.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -12-09-2018, 09:23 PM.

  • #2
    The Rams are a better team than they showed last night. The receivers are better players than they showed last night. Jared Goff is a better player than he showed last night. One bad game doesn't make a season and atleast the Defense showed up for a change. So we can atleast take something positive out of the game. It could have been a lot worse, as you well know.

    One player I will not defend is SUH and to think I was actually excited when the Rams signed him. Total GARBAGE.

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    • #3
      The team played sloppily with zero sense of urgency last night. I agree 100% with your assessment of Gurley basically being a spectator in a huge game. I disagree that the defense was great last night as I believe Chicago would of had a lot more points on the board if they just ran the ball.

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      • #4
        I'm willing to bet something is wrong with Gurley. Which may explain part of the reason McVay is not using him as much as we think he should be.
        The Rams... Where dreams go to die.

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        • #5
          Let's see how the team responds next week.

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          • #6
            The defense had one of their best games of the year BUT the Rams still gave up too much yardage on the ground due to the continued poor play of the linebacking crew. Game after game the same story.
            :helmet:

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
              Goff, for all of the tremendous strides he's made, still has much work to do. He had the absolute worst game he's had in the McVay regime, looking totally lost and displaying the lack of poise shown in his rookie year. His mistakes were numerous and came in all areas of play. He misfired on numerous throws, missed open receivers, forced balls, showed poor pocket presence and threw 4 interceptions- one of which immediately followed a Rams defensive pick. Goff has regressed the past two weeks, and as we head towards the playoffs, this is a concern. It begs the question "Who is Jared Goff?" Is he a guy who needs everything to be perfect including great protection, a great back, and the weather to succeed? Or is he a guy who can succeed despite adverse conditions? Is he truly a potentially elite QB or simply the beneficiary of a lot of surrounding talent and a brilliant coach? His performance tonight feeds the stereotype of the West Coast/warm climate player: a guy who isn't tough and performs poorly in less-than-ideal weather and with some pressure in his face.
              I certainly agree that Goff is wobbling right now, and it is a profound problem with respect to our prospects this season. But
              I don't think it's necessarily an existential concern re Goff, at this time. He's a young QB who has shown a lot of ability, and has a great chance to continue his development and become a top NFL QB. I think his difficulties since the bye relate more to this moment than to the arc of his career. His head coach/playcaller is overburdening him with downfield passing responsibility and pressure. When McVay makes downfield passing the foundation of his offense, he puts a lot of pressure on Goff to throw downfield with consistent accuracy. As the offense moves away from running and atrophies into a one-dimensional offense, opposing defenses can key more on that passing, it becomes even more difficult, the pressure on Goff increases, etc. I'm trying not to overreact to Goff's poor performances these last couple of games. For now, I expect Goff will respond positively, if McVay will get back to featuring Gurley and running a more varied, balanced offense.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Seacone View Post

                For now, I expect Goff will respond positively, if McVay will get back to featuring Gurley and running a more varied, balanced offense.

                Agreed. First adjustment must come from Coach McVay. Then, hopefully, Goff will return to form, feel more "comfortable" and perform to his proven potential which in turn would loosen up our offense ... and score more points!

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                • #9
                  NJ, a very well stated post. I agree with all your points except that I think perhaps you're undervaluing the performance of our defense the past 2 games. I heard a very astute comment on Goff saying that he's undergoing a crisis of confidence. Which would indicate that this isn't a reflection of Goff's overall skillset. I never bought into the notion that he's an elite QB. I simply felt he would perform at a high level given the talent & play calling.

                  You are 100% correct about getting Gurley more involved. I'm suspicious that McVay is giving him a lighter workload given his ankle incident a few games ago. Coupled with the absence of Brown, his presence is even more critical.

                  The time out calls are very Martz-like and scary to be sure.

                  My personal complaint is that we need a better blocking TE to help Goff overcome the pressure he feels on long pass routes. We are missing Cooper Kupp as well. Nothing we can do about that however.

                  Go Rams!

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                  • #10
                    would have to say the Rams were somewhat exposed in this game. having said that, it takes a team as good as the Bears to exploit the Rams weaknesses. because if you can't get to Goff, or have an offense that can score 30+ you're just not going to beat the Rams.

                    so we're mostly talking about concerns of winning playoff games and going to the super bowl. all of the factors above come into play.

                    McVay needs more patience. would love to ask him if you knew the Bears would only score 15, and Goff would have 4 picks, how would you change your game plan?

                    surprisingly I think we all thought going into this game we would try to run the ball and avoid turnovers. instead we called a game plan that fed right into their hands.

                    so McVay does have a little Mike Martz in him. abandons the run a little quick, and doesn't really change his protection when teams are getting pressure. also, still runs plays that are 5 step drops.

                    time will tell if this same 11 man personnel package has enough variations to keep defense guessing or if it it starting to get figured out. I hope at some point they use this personnel group for all the quick plays and 2 minute drills, but when you come off a time out, why not run some different packages? two right ends? two running backs??

                    any way. Bears game is water under the bridge, hope we have a better game plan next time if we face them in the playoffs, hopefully at home.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                      Though not unexpected by me, tonight's loss was nonetheless disappointing.
                      Surely this loss was not unexpected by anyone. This matchup had an "L" written all over it. Our first game in cold climates, an obviously banged-up Gurley with no experienced backup, and one of the toughest pass defenses in the league. I thought we'd score more than 6, but not much more.

                      If we see them in the playoffs, we'll have to have a healthy Gurley, or it could be a repeat.

                      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                        Surely this loss was not unexpected by anyone. This matchup had an "L" written all over it. Our first game in cold climates, an obviously banged-up Gurley with no experienced backup, and one of the toughest pass defenses in the league. I thought we'd score more than 6, but not much more.

                        If we see them in the playoffs, we'll have to have a healthy Gurley, or it could be a repeat.
                        Interesting take on Gurley, which hadn't actually occured to me. But you might be on to something here. If Gurley is crocked a little, he's doing a stellar job of hiding it. Your dead right about the "L" though. I had a strong feeling the OL would get manhandled in this game. The DL of the Bears being just too big and strong, and also having youth on their side. Curtains for our aging line.!!
                        Last edited by GroundDog39; -12-11-2018, 07:30 AM.

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                        • #13
                          McVayís approach has secured him wins, but hasnít prevented losses. Of course there will be losses, but little-boy-genius already paid lip service in the past to using Gurley more judiciously. If he hasnít noticed that play-action isnít fooling anyone anymore with the lack of ground & pound games, heís delusional at worst or youthfully naive at best.

                          I think what troubles me thus far 13 games in, is that lots of fans on this board are clear and objective in their observations of deficiencies yet why isnít it the same for the professionals who get paid to game plan, make adjustments, and execute. Goff clearly doesnít like cold weather, he wore gloves in Seattle(?), threw poorly there and took them off in Chicago only to throw even worse. Man, I canít believe it was only a few weeks ago where I thought Goffís composure, accuracy and arm strength had come of age. Losing Brown is no excuse for not using Gurley Ė even he didnít recover during the bye week and after running for 24 carries against Detroit (which is hard for me to take very seriously), if heís not up to par then inactivate him.

                          Losses are inevitable, but stubbornness isnít. Brockers and Suh may have underwhelmed but in the end if they keep blockers away from the second level and the LBs make plays at the line, Iím good. But these LBs canít cover RBs out of the backfield or TEs in space. How getting Peters and Talib was going to cover for them is beyond me.

                          Weíre left with the hand weíre dealt. The OL is fading, Peters canít cover in man, Philipís 3-4 scheme has displayed no clear advantage to the 4-3 (in fact, after two years of watching this nonsense, Iíd much rather see the DTs rotating in with proven DEs setting the edge). Even if you rush 5, leaving Barron and the relatively-small MLB in to patrol the middle has been a recipe for 100 yard rushers and TEs. And the special-teams is reverting back to the Special-Ed teams Ė The Leg is no longer reliable, whether injury prone or not, heís not a gimme anymore.

                          Couple this patch-work defense with McVayís lip service of learning from his mistakes on offense, and we seem to be on the verge of another not-ready-for-prime-time playoff appearance.

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                          • #14
                            I believe Barron will be gone next year, just my thoughts. They had to spend moneys somewhere this year and that's what they did, for better (Donald) or worse (insert name here)

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