The Los Angeles Rams put on a defensive clinic in Week 11 beating the Chicago Bears, 17-7. It was a much-needed win after the disappointing loss in Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a very similar game.
Here’s some perspective on the major outcomes as we get ready to gear up for a massive Week 12 clash on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
Seemingly, no big ones from yesterday. We’ll have to see when we get to Wednesday if guys were playing through some smaller stuff, but we might be looking pretty good. And of course, we’ll have to see where WR Brandin Cooks, RT Rob Havenstein and DB Darious Williams are at in their recovery.
There’s also the nature of WR Robert Woods’ absence. While not an injury, Woods missed the game “due to a personal issue.” Whatever it was, here’s hoping the best for him and his family and that it’s not significant enough to keep him absent heading into Week 12.
The offense here revolved around three major performances: QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley and the new look offensive line. Lets start with that last group.
What a fantastic performance. With LT Andrew Whitworth the only veteran past his rookie deal (by quite a bit...) leading LG Austin Corbett, C Austin Blythe, RG David Edwards and RT Bobby Evans, this group looked very good throughout the night leading to quite a bit of praise from Sunday Night Football Analyst Cris Collinsworth.
Just a fantastic night for that group. We’ll have to see if that keeps up heading down the stretch, but it surely was a welcome sign for a position group that has struggled throughout the season.
Perhaps worringly then that this removed the consistent excuse the line has offered Goff on a night where he struggled for the majority of the game. While Goff looked very sharp on the final drive of the game to get a second touchdown and seal the game, prior to that he was 8/15 for just 109 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Goff did have two low-difficulty long-range strikes, but the throw of the night was a rope to sideline that WR Mike Thomas dropped.
As for Gurley, the quality may not have been the highest of the year, but the quantity absolutely was. His 28 touches and 25 carries were a season high by a mile. If anything, that output as a response to his lack of a single touch in the fourth quarter in Week 10 just confuses things more, but it’s been a plan of confusion from the jump for Gurley this year. Expect him to get 2 carries next week.
As for the defense, it was another spectacular performance. They’re going to have their hands full next week with MVP contender Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, but they’ve played fantastically the last month-plus.
While the Rams are still within striking distance, Week 10 didn’t offer any help. None of the top six in the conference lost with four teams picking up a win and two on the bye.
So while the Rams are in striking distance, we need help from one of the two pairs in the NFC North and/or West: the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, and the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Right now, you’ve got three 6-4 teams in the playoff seeds in the AFC. Just the Rams’ misfortune that the NFC has been so strong at the top this year.
The bottom line is that the Rams need to stack up wins down the stretch. A loss to the Ravens won’t drop the Rams out of contention, but unless we get help from at least one of the teams in those two duos it won’t matter.