The Los Angeles Rams had a perfect storm of three major offensive issues tonight, and it completely undid them against the Chicago Bears in a 6-15 loss that will offer many more questions than answers.
1.) Head Coach Sean McVay completely abandoned the ground game tonight. With RB Todd Gurley uninjured, McVay rushed his star running back just 11 times compared to passing it 43 times. Why? Was it that he felt his offensive line had less chance of succeeding in run protection than they did in pass protection? Was it that he was concerned with the Bears’ linebackers? Was it something about the pass defense he thought the Rams could exploit? Whatever it was, it’s hard not to think he was, to be blunt, wrong. And his management of the situation after the long reception by WR Robert Woods led to the worst series I’ve seen McVay handle as head coach leading to the missed field goal by K Greg Zuerlein.
2.) The offensive line had their worst game of the season and their worst game under McVay going back to Week 1 last year. Was it just a matchup issue? That’d be easy to allow for given how good the Bears are up front. But given the line’s performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the wild card playoff game last year and this one, knowing the Bears are headed to the playoffs along with the Rams, it doesn’t inspire much confidence that when we play teams of our caliber that the line is going to be able to step up their play.
3.) QB Jared Goff looked horrible. Perhaps not as horrible as his counterpart in Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, but horrible in his own right nonetheless. He missed numerous throws. His timing was off. He threw four interceptions. You could excuse the first, second and the last, but the third one was all on him at a time that I’m not sure you could justify. Not panicking, but we’re past the halfway mark in Goff’s rookie contract. At some point (and maybe soon), we can’t use words like “potential” or “future” with Goff. And given tonight’s game, that’s worrisome.
So between our offensively minded head coach, the offensive line and our quarterback, you had three units on offense put up just a really, really bad game. And it’s unfortunate, because it obscures a very good game from the Rams’ defense. Yes, Trubisky was atrocious on his own, but the Rams’ D allowed just 13 points and kept them from dictating the pace of the game.
Sadly, that control went to the Bears’ defense who dominated the proceedings tonight.
So I’ll just tip my cap. They won this and rightly so. The Rams just need to figure out what to do the next time they face a defense like this on behalf of their head coach, offensive line and quarterback.
Because there’s a damn good chance that’s exactly what’s going to happen in a month after the regular season is over.