This season, the NFC West may very well be a dogfight that comes down to the wire. Anytime you go to Seattle for a primetime game against a decent Seattle Seahawks team, you can’t be too upset about dropping one, but falling behind the Seahawks by a game early will reduce the margin for error moving forward. Next week, the Los Angeles Rams will need to handle business against the currently unbeaten San Francisco 49ers at home or things could get a bit messy for the Rams.
While the result in Seattle wasn’t ideal, at the end of the day it was refreshing to see the Rams look like the Rams for the most part. QB Jared Goff wasn’t perfect, but looked like a quarterback that was game to duel with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who was playing at the peak of his abilities. While some of Goff’s passes and reads were altered by pressure, he does seem to be developing plenty of subtle steps to elude pressure and buy himself an extra heartbeat to deliver a balls downfield.
Early on, the line looked energized by Rams Head Coach Sean McVay’s willingness to run the ball. I’m not sure what PFF will tell us about individual performances, but things looked a bit better save for some bonehead penalties at the end and some third down pressures allowed. And speaking of the run, RB Todd Gurley looked like he was actually enjoying playing football, fighting and dragging defenders when given the opportunity. It’s no coincidence that in a game where McVay was willing to invest the ground attack early, the Rams found some of their old identity.
TE Gerald Everett and WR Cooper Kupp both were busy in the game as well. Everett’s presence could become a new wrinkle that could help the Rams offense evolve enough to stay potent. Let’s see if they continue going to him against the 49ers.
If there was an area for concern it was at corner, where CB Aqib Talib missed a few plays that were there for him and the overall tackling was poor. CB Nickell Robey-Coleman played well, but CB Marcus Peters and Talib will need to return to early season form for the defense to be effective.
Last season the Rams won two close games against the Seahawks, this time they lost on a missed FG. It’s a results driven business, but this game wasn’t so different from last year’s, other than a rare miss from K Greg Zuerlein.
Things seem to be shifting toward a better brand of football for the Rams, but a close loss won’t cut it next time. They need to beat the 49ers, and stay in the division push.