A win would have proven that this Los Angeles Rams team is ready to take on and overthrow all challengers. But a loss means they are not at that level, yet.
The Sunday game against the Minnesota Vikings showed the Rams can no longer rely on their second half to win games. They have to play good, consistent football throughout four quarters. Anything less will lead them leaving town with a loss.
But it’s better to get this dose of reality now, rather than in the postseason.
Cooper Kupp is not as beloved as we thought
The Rams fanbase in general had a panic attack after WR Cooper Kupp made two big drops on Sunday. Normally, Twitter is a calm place of zen and forward-thinking viewpoints; a marketplace of ideas. I was shocked to see so many people give some off-the-handle reactions to Kupp’s drops.
If #LARams lose this game, Cooper Kupp will have BOTH hands in it. Two critical botches, a fumble at opponent's 1, then this drop on 3rd down in the 4th qtr. Reminds one of that Seattle game they should've won too. Throw more to Watkins & Woodsy! #LARvsMIN pic.twitter.com/7RWQtQVcfs— California Dolfan (@dolphinsblitz) November 19, 2017
I remember that Seattle game, too. QB Jared Goff made two passes to Kupp that wee not at all accurate. Didn’t he also make two costly interceptions? Didn’t the offense get stopped on third-down a whole bunch, rendering their drives useless?
This is the best way to vent my frustration, said an idiot who made this while waiting for his Applebee’s car-side to go.
Make no mistake, Kupp had hand in the loss. He made two big mistakes. But to say “Kupp sucks” or “Kupp is overrated” is idiotic. He’s a great rookie receiver who struggled. But the team struggled on Sunday as well—mightily.
The defense folded pretty badly
Give credit where credit is due: for three-and-a-half quarters, this defense was keeping the Vikings offense at bay and making stops when they needed to. But they went off the rails when they were needed most and allowed the Vikings to throw it wherever they wanted.
The pas-rush also did not travel with the team, which I thought was weird. Of all the games to have them be at their best, they choose not to show up.
On any given Vikings pass, QB Case Keeum had five yards of green between he and the butts of the offensive linemen. DT Aaron Donald made Keenum run a few times, but other than that, it felt like the Vikings didn’t have to do much to keep the Rams front-seven back.
Keenum took a play from the Jurassic Park playbook and stood still when two beasts were charging at him. Success.
How does that even happen. OLB Robert Quinn had Keenum dead-to-rights and instead he swatted the ball that was nowhere near where his hand ended up. OLB Connor Barwin litterally had both arms on Keenum; still nothing.
They probably would have made those tackles had Cooper Kupp played better. Jeez, I see it now. It all connects. Twitter was right, Kupp deserves to be cut.
Rams needed the loss
The Rams came into this game with a four-game winning streak and were riding high on the back of their prolific offense. They needed this loss to bring them back down to Earth.
Against the Houston Texans, the Rams came out cold and went three-and-out on their first three drives. The Texans are not like Vikings. The Rams defense allowed an offense led by QB Tom Savage to work them for an entire half.
This loss wasn’t as terrible as you might think. A loss is a loss. But for a majority of the game, the Rams were keeping the Vikings to one touchdown. The defense, despite their best efforts, were making the most of their time on the field.
The problem is, the Rams haven’t had the consistent adversity week-to-week. After the Jacksonville Jaguars win, the Rams went to face the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants. Not exactly a road trip of obstacles.
The Vikings are going to the playoffs and they have a shot at being in the NFC Championship game. The Rams don’t. The Rams will make the playoffs, but it’s not enough to get there. They are too talented a team to do a one-game appearance.
This loss should wake them up and allow them to rebuild themselves as a new team when they face the New Orleans Saints.
You should be glad Robert Woods is on this team
WR Robert Woods brings talent and consistency to the passing game. An underrated aspect he brings to the table is his attitude.
That’s during the fourth quarter of a game wherein his team is down by a lot, deep in their own zone, with not as much time on the clock. Woods is still fighting for yards and fighting anyone in his way.
He didn’t go down at the SS Harrison Smith shot and if he had more room, he would have fought off LB Eric Kendrick for more yards. Attitude is everything, and you should be thrilled Woods brings his to this team.
Meanwhile, you should also be concerned about LB Alec Ogeltree’s attitude.
If you watch closely, you can see Ogeltree engage a block shoulder-first and get his back turned towards the play. Then he jogs over and tries to tackle by walking around and putting his hands on the hips like a freshman slow-dance.
High tackles killed this defense on Sunday. Ogeltree is one of the worst offenders on the team. Take out the running back’s legs and it would be third-and-short.