In the first game, Washington dominated the Rams on both sides of the ball for just short of six possessions. In the Rams’ three possessions, they punted twice and fumbled a third time in a fashion hardly representative of the offensive genius fans had been sold under new Head Coach Sean McVay that was expressed in Week 1. In Washington’s three possessions (or nearly three), HC Jay Gruden oversaw a punishing ground attack that was carving up the Rams. Possession 1 was a field goal on a 14-play, tone-setting drive. The second ended in a touchdown. The third was headed the same after a first and goal run set up second and goal from the four.
Then...something happened. The door opened to the second game of the day.
I dunno if Jay Gruden forgot what he was doing or if Rams Head Coach Sean McVay’s replacement as Washington’s offensive coordinator, Matt Cavanaugh, forgot what he was doing or if the Football gods (FBGs) simply reached down to make a game of this, but something happened.
Washington, absolutely dominating the game on the ground, called two ill-fated fade passing plays to no avail.
The Rams forced a field goal as the FBGs demanded more. Washington’s defense provided it as TE Gerald Everett was left wide open on a simple scramble from QB Jared Goff. The dump-off turned into a 69-yard play that ended in a short touchdown run for RB Todd Gurley. The Rams got a quick stop and finagled a field goal from their next possession to make it a three-point game. End Game 2.
Begin Game 3. Washington went back to their running game; with RB Rob Kelley injured, it was RB Chris Thompson’s turn to carve up the Rams’ rushing defense a la a 61-yard scamper on a delayed handoff. The Rams then avoided disaster by covering up a strip sack fumble to punt and prevent Washington from an icing-on-the-cake two-minute drill touchdown.
Welcome to the first real need for halftime adjustments in the Sean McVay era.
The run game is non-existent. JTG has 24 yards and looks likely for yet another game leaving more frustration than praise. Washington, meanwhile, has 167 yards of groundwork. Can McVay and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips find a way to flip those two trends?
Goff, perhaps unspectacular, has yet again made good decisions throughout this contest. He’s avoided risky situations ensuring no turnovers came out of the passing game. Will he, and McVay’s playcalling, need to get more aggressive to force the trajectory upward?
And who does McVay point to coming out of the half? Who’s the true leader of this team? If the 2017 Rams are going to be successful and find themselves needing to get out of a 10-point hole at halftime, who’s going to put the game on their backs to make it happen.
The Rams played three games in the first half leaving them down by 10.
Game 4 out of ? starts momentarily.
Let the games begin.