I think it’s fair to say that we’ve not yet seen the 2018 Los Angeles Rams powerhouse offense take the field this year. And there aren’t many signs to indicate we will. More often, we watch pulling out whatever hair we have left wondering what, exactly, we’re watching. They’ve been consistently inconsistent and it’s sometimes maddening.
That hair-pulling moment, and there were several on Sunday when the Rams’ offense was on the field, came with just under 10 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, with the Rams down 14-7 and looking for signs of life.
Here’s how the series played out:
- 1st and 10 (at LA 20): Todd Gurley right guard for 9 yards
- 2nd and 1 (at LA 29): Jared Goff short pass left to Tyler Higbee for -1 yards
- 3rd and 2 (at LA 28): Blake Bortles right end for 1 yard
- 4th and 1 (at LA 29): Fake punt Johnny Hekker pass short middle to David Long Jr. intercepted.
So many questions. Luckily the media inquired about this drive on Monday. Here’s what Rams’ HC Sean McVay had to say about that drive:
Yeah. Unfortunately, for us, that was one of the first times in the game, and it didn’t happen until the third quarter, that we really had a 3rd-and-short situation come up. There was a couple of things that we had potentially discussed as far as using Blake Bortles, his skill set – he’s a quarterback, but he also has some running threat. That was something that, that was a play and kind of a package, if you will, that we had worked. There was a certain look that we had and it wasn’t quite exactly what we were looking for on the fake punt, Johnny Hekker does a great job of recognizing those. The best part about it is, some of those things that you end up being able to activate in a game, if it doesn’t always work out the way we want, when you’ve got the right kind of guys like you do in Johnny Hekker and John Fassel, we learn from it the right way. We use it as a chance to move forward in a positive manner when those situations present themselves in the future.
The bit I find particularly interesting is that the Rams have struggled all season to find their identify, and to establish any semblance of a run game. Numbers are down across the board, both for the team and star running back Todd Gurley. But here we are, drawing up designed runs for the backup quarterback.
That play, in case you missed it, started off a little something like this.
And the fake punt? Not much better.
It’s become increasingly difficult to suggest the Rams simply run the ball given how their offensive line has performed this year. But Todd Gurley averaged over 6 yards per carry on Sunday, yet wasn’t a consideration on 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th down with three feet to go....or the entirety of the 4th quarter for that matter. But yeah, let’s get Bortles more involved.