The St. Louis Rams played the Chicago Bears last Sunday. They lost. They did not play well on either side of the ball, at home, and now their playoff aspirations are creeping further and further away. And in the immediate future the Rams have more issues than they have answers. Before the Rams play the Baltimore Ravens, here is one last recap on the Bears game.
The Rams Defense Can Have A Bad Day
The Rams defense is a damn good unit. It is hard not to put them in the top ten as a unit, but the Bears offense kept getting big play after big play. The Rams clamped down on Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett, limiting both of the Bears top weapons to a combined 41 yards. What the Rams could not defend was the incredible Zach Miller who only has had a handful of good games, but scored twice and had 107 yards. The Rams also could not do anything with Jeremy Langford - who scored in the air and on the ground - finishing with more than 180 total yards.
The Rams took away the Bears' top players, but could do nothing against the other players. Obviously, if you are playing against a good quarterback like Jay Cutler other players will get open and play well, but it is still shocking. The quick passing game really neutralized the Rams' pass rush and their blitzes.
The Rams offense needs Todd Gurley
The Rams had an identity crisis on Sunday. They forgot that running the ball is the only way for the offense to make plays. The team has been running the ball with Gurley more than 25 times a game, and that has been successful for the offense. The Bears, and their okay (at best) defense, held Gurley to 45 yards on 12 carries.
As a team the Rams could not get anything going on the ground, rushing for 21 carries, 94 yards, and an early touchdown by Gurley. It will be interesting to see if Gurley will be able to get his groove back, or with the offensive line injuries will he just play okay. Of course, if Gurley does not play well, it's doubtful the offense will start to play at a respectable level.
The Rams Playoff Hopes Are Looking Bleak
At (4-5) the Rams are not out of the playoff picture entirely, but if they are going to make it they really can't afford many more losses. Right now Packers and Falcons are occupying the wildcard spots for the NFC, with both teams having six wins. If one of those two teams falter, there are seven other teams - including the Rams - vying for that playoff spot.
The Rams only face two teams with a record north of .500 heading into the homestretch so it's easy to say that their schedule is winnable. But with the issues on the offensive side of the ball, does anyone expect the Rams to make the playoffs? It's doubtful that the Rams will make it, but they still have a shot.