In Week 14 in early December last season, the Chicago Bears kept a lid on the up-to-that-point prolific Los Angeles Rams offense winning 15-6. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, now the head coach of the Denver Broncos, tamped down on the lateral action Head Coach Sean McVay liked to use to spread defenses out before QB Jared Goff would slice them up the middle. On that day, there was no slicing of the Bears’ defense as Goff finished with four interceptions and less than 200 passing yards with RB Todd Gurley adding just 28 rushing yards wasting a premier showing from the Rams’ defense who kept Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky to 110 passing yards with three interceptions of his own.
Fast forward nearly a full year later, and that game stands out. Not as an anomaly but as a catalyst.
It kickstarted a league-wide response to the Rams’ high-powered offense to a more pedestrian group this year that’s 10th in scoring and 12th in yards that’s coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that looked awfully similar to that Bears game in 2018.
And so in come the 2019 Bears to LA with both teams with their backs against the wall. Our Rams are a game to the better at 5-4, but that’s hardly much to get excited about. No, instead the Rams like the Bears are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. A loss for Chicago nearly rules them out of the postseason mathematically. And much the same for the Rams albeit not to the same degree.
It’s a must-win scenario for two teams who have fallen off of their 2018 precipice into the 2019 ditch.
Do the Rams have the wherewithal to defend home turf and avenge the loss a year ago that kicked off the new reality?