Welp. It didn’t go well.
The Los Angeles Rams lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6, 7-20. It was an ugly affair offensively as the Niners’ stellar defensive front pummeled the Rams’ O-line in what was easily their worst showing of 2019 sending many Rams fans into a frenzied panic.
The good thing is that the Rams have an opportunity in front of them to get right before the bye in three weeks. The Rams face the hapless 1-5 Atlanta Falcons next week before travelling to London to take on the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals. On one hand, that means the Rams are being gifted a perfect setup to right the ship and put together a more cohesive showing on the line like what we saw the first three weeks and in Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks. On the other hand, that means that needs to happen. There’s no room for underwhelming showings on the line. And the Rams absolutely can’t lose either of these games.
We’ll have to wait until Wednesday’s initial injury report for Week 7, but the Rams are in a bit of a bind now on the health front. LB Clay Matthews is out until November while RB Todd Gurley and CB Aqib Talib are TBD. But now the Rams have LG Joseph Noteboom out with a knee injury that we’ll get some clarification on today along with S John Johnson III.
So yeah, not good.
While much of the consternation lies along the offensive line, yesterday’s issues were beyond that. Rams fans have seen poor offensive line play before. We haven’t seen the passing offense that feckless though. With 12:03 left to play, QB Jared Goff had 27 passing yards. That’s not a typo. That’s an ineffectiveness beyond line play. The Rams were 0/9 on 3rd down with five of those being 3rd & 6 or shorter. That’s an ineffectiveness beyond line play. At that 12:03 mark, the 49ers had run 63 plays; the Rams had run 31. That’s an ineffectiveness beyond line play.
All of this on a day in which the defense played pretty well especially against the run where they stifled one of the NFL’s better running games.
The bigger issue might be the wild swings in performance. The defense was fine yesterday two weeks after it got torched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and QB Jameis Winston. The offensive line looked inept a week after handling the Seattle Seahawks’ capable defensive front. Goff looked out of his depth a week after going 29/49 for 395 yards and a touchdown.
My biggest concern is that whatever the performance issues are, they’re going to be different next week and might be equally concerning.
Not great. At all.
The Niners and Seahawks both got the better of the Rams the last two weeks and are firmly atop the division. We’re gonna have to work to get back in the mix and see if this can develop into a three-horse race.
There’s a muddled middle of the NFC and the Rams are firmly in the thick of it.
Those bottom five are likely to find themselves on the outside looking in, but the top 11? That’s your playoff race beginning to shape up.