While the Rams’ defense put up a spirited effort, the offense was completely dominated by the Bears’ defense and stymied to the point that for the first time under Head Coach Sean McVay the Rams failed to score a single touchdown.
Here’s how things look with three games left.
The Rams were teetering on calamity last night on the offensive line. C John Sullivan appeared to suffer a concussion only to return while LG Rodger Saffold III came off for a bit with a foot injury. And yes, the Rams have just two backup offensive linemen on the active roster in rookie OL Joseph Noteboom and C Brian Allen.
Additionally, CB Dominique Hatfield was carted off in what is likely a season-ending injury. While Hatfield has barely logged any time as a defender, he was a key member of special teams. Much like losing RB Malcolm Brown, Hatfield’s impact may be felt more in his absence.
Look, I think we have to be careful here. Recency bias plus the sheer magnitude of the performance of the Bears’ defense means we’re likely dealing with a relative anomaly on the Rams’ schedule.
At -83.8%, Chicago last night had the best single-game defensive DVOA performance of the season.— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) December 10, 2018
But I’m hardly the first to point out that the two performances from the Rams’ offense and QB Jared Goff since the bye have been troubling to say the least. The last two weeks combined, Goff is 37 for 77 (48.05%) for 387 yards with one touchdown, five interceptions and a ton of missed throws.
Of course the good news here is that the Rams have three weeks to sort things out on this side of the ball with upcoming games against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. So the opportunity is there right the ship as early as next Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the bottom line is that means the ship needs to be righted in the first place.
NFC West locked up. The NFC as a whole is the focus now:
This week, we bid adieu to the five-win teams meaning the only new team to bow out of the playoff race are the 5-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s going to be a tight race to fill out the wild card slots.
For the Rams, the loss drops us back behind the New Orleans Saints thanks to the Week 9 tiebreaker. And now we’re in the uncomfortable position of needing the Saints to drop a game to give us a chance to get back to the #1 seed.