The week 10 matchup for the Los Angeles Rams that took them to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers was a game that seemed winnable, even though they were never really in control. With a LA Rams team that failed score an offensive touchdown, it’s hard to point the blame elsewhere. This was a failure on the offense with some nitpicks to the other sides of the team. And now the regular season has a much darker tone.
Here are the grades:
The biggest takeaway to QB Jared Goff’s game on Sunday was his inability to sense pressure and move athletically out of the pocket to make plays out of nothing. That’s no his game, so it’s hard to grade him harshly. He’s not QB Lamar Jackson. Instead, Goff just didn’t have it. His throws were ill-advised on some occasions, leading to multiple interceptions and even a possession-ending bomb to WR Josh Reynolds with less than two minutes in the game. This performance is solid evidence that Goff has regressed big-time. I would argue that Goff still has the chance to be the franchise QB for the Rams, but this game Is really shatters that argument. Woof.
The whole narrative with RB Todd Gurley II is so mysterious and exhausting that it was just a relief to see the guy out on the grass, being productive. The team had 88 yards rushing, which isn’t fantastic, but it’s fine. Gurley was fine. They needed more on Sunday, sadly.
This is the unit that almost always scores a great grade from me. And while WR Robert Woods provided some excellent stats with 95 yards off 7 catches, the big story was the goose egg that was handed to WR Cooper Kupp. Reynolds was a pretty good as a replacement to WR Brandin Cooks, but overall, the pass catchers couldn’t get enough separation.
TE Gerald Everett keeps knocking on the door as a go-to guy for the LA Rams and Sunday’s performance in Pittsburge was another example. Though he didn’t get into the end zone, the big target showed up in the fourth quarter and was able to raise the hopes of the Ramily before Goff smashed it to pieces with his tiny hands.
They aren’t getting a failing grade because Jared Goff is still alive and the running attack was somewhat successful. But man oh man did they struggle. And the penalties! This is a unit that has switched around so much that it’s almost impossible to know who’s lining up next to who. OL Austin Blythe gets proving that he’s a backup and not a starter, getting penalties right when the team needs a break. The Rams could have won this game if the offensive line played better, but that was not the case.
The Steelers were held to 42 yards rushing and DE Aaron Donald had a monster game, grabbing a safety that could have been the turning point in the game. I could have liked to see more pressure on QB Mason Rudolph during the game, but overall they were pretty solid as a unit.
While Rudolph had way too much time to make his passes, it’s hard to ding this unit too much when ILB Cory Littleton turned in such an amazing performance. 14 tackles and a forced fumble! OLB Dante Fowler Jr. is a guy that is great in fits and starts, but I’ll take it. It was great to see LB Clay Matthews on the field again. This unit isn’t the problem even though they seemed destined to struggle in the offseason.
The secondary of the Steelers was so effective that it made the LA Rams secondary look like a bunch of collegiate players. CB Jalen Ramsey needed to be the man, but instead the receivers for the Steelers were running all over the field and WR James Washington had a career day.
This was hard because there were so many aspect to special teams. WR Jojo Natson had a nice return near the end of the game, P Johnny Hekker’s interception was rough, but then he pinned the Steelers within the five yard line that led to a safety — a mixed bag. Granted, the special teams didn’t lose the game for the Rams, but they could have been better.
The play calling was extremely frustrating for fans that it's hard to tell if the problems were due to his offensive scheme or his lack of confidence in the offensive line. Regardless, his decision to go for a fake punt didn’t work out for him and his tendency to keep pushing the passing attack was another issue that he’ll be thinking about this week.
A bunch of jerks, those referees. Jerks, I tell you!