2019 NFL Power Rankings Summary - Week 12
|Average ranking (# of rankings)||12.75 (8)|
|Average change from last week||+1.88|
|Highest ranking (source)||11th (multiple sources)|
|Lowest ranking (source)||15th (multiple sources)|
|Biggest positive change (source)||+5 (USA Today)|
|Biggest negative change (source)||0 (ESPN)|
Most underrated player: Cory Littleton, LB
On a defense that packs plenty of star power with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Clay Matthews, Littleton often gets overlooked. But the fourth-year pro, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, often comes up with big-time plays. He has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a team-best 82 tackles this season. Littleton, also a special-teams standout, is in the final season of his contract.
The Rams got a win they needed Sunday night. Aaron Donald finished with two sacks, and the Los Angeles defense held the Bears to under 300 yards of offense in a 17-7 victory at the Coliseum. The most promising moment for the offense came midway through the fourth quarter, after a 51-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to Jeff Reynolds was wiped away by an illegal-formation penalty on Andrew Whitworth. Instead of going into a shell, the Rams marched 56 yards over the next six plays for the game-clinching score. There was also optimism to be found in the running game, where Todd Gurley matched a season high with 97 yards and a score on 25 carries. The offense is far from the juggernaut it was this time a year ago, but the Rams will take positives where they can find them. At 6-4, Los Angeles remains very much in the NFC hunt.
They did some good things against the Bears - especially on defense. The running game came alive as well. But now they face a tough one against Baltimore.
Good coaches understand what they need to do to win a game and call it accordingly. In that sense, it makes sense the Rams barely threw the ball on Sunday night. They knew the Bears couldn’t score. But it still has to say something about Jared Goff that the Rams had no interest in dropping him back to throw.
This team has a long way to go to be as good as it was last year.
They failed to crack 30 points 11 times during Sean McVay’s first two seasons but haven’t reached that plateau seven times in 2019.
The Rams defense locked up a poor Bears offense (continuing a streak of four games holding opponents under 20 points), and Todd Gurley continued his weekly improvements, leading the offense with 25 rushes for 97 yards and a touchdown as well as three receptions for 36 yards.
I think it says a lot about what our panel thinks about the Rams (and the Bears) this year that a Sunday Night Football win against Chicago barely moved the needle for the Rams. We will say it was encouraging to see the Rams run the ball well (110 rushing yards, including 25 carries and 97 yards from Todd Gurley) and keep Jared Goff protected. Now we want to see Goff do more. (Also: That Rams-Chiefs offensive explosion game was exactly a year ago. Seems like ages ago compared to the current snooze-fest of the Rams’ offense.)