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Los Angeles Rams 9, Houston Texans 7: Inside out

The Rams’ offense has looked much maligned today in a gritty battle in LA.

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams
Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It’s been an ugly game between the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans today as the Rams lead, 9-7. And as is usually the case in ugly football, it starts inside.

The Rams’ offensive line looked overwhelmed for much of the first half, save for the final possession in perhaps a preview of the upcoming 30 minutes of football. DL Jadaveon Clowney wrecked RT Rob Havenstein and TE Tyler Higbee and WR Cooper Kupp (no, really) and pretty much anyone the Rams put in front of him. But the real story of the Rams’ offensive woes today have come in the ground game.

RB Todd Gurley has just 19 yards on 7 carries today, and the Rams’ o-line has blocked like it. Prior to the Rams’ final possession, I tweeted this:

Effective running by Gurley had made things much easier for the Rams’ offense in recent games. And once the run opened things up for QB Jared Goff and the passing offense, it was, as the kids say, mask off.

Today? Not so much. And without anything going on the ground, the Texans found effective pass rush without having to use the blitz to be able to blanket coverage.

The Rams’ defense? They struggled on two possesions overall, but the second one saw QB Tom Savage through an ill-advised pass that ILB Mark Barron aptly intercepted.

One note? I’ve seen a lot of panic among Rams fans in this one, which is some #6and2bullshit. The Rams are ahead at the break in a game that they struggled to get anything going on the line. That’s a testament to both their defensive play but also their mental readiness. It would have been very easy for things to get much worse on offense and to see an internal collapse.

It didn’t come. That perhaps more than anything is indicative of a team that has its ish together. A team that’s playing for each other and playing for their coach and battling through some poor play.

A team that might well get this figured out in this half.