Woof. 21-44 and the season is over. The Los Angeles Rams had a less than 50% chance to make the playoffs with a win against the Dallas Cowboys and a less then 10% chance if they lost. So, a big game, right? Since the Rams were coming off a Week 14 win against the Seahawks, a team arguably better than the Cowboys, things were looking good.
You know wasn’t good? Anything involving the LA Rams during the game vs. the Cowboys.
Here are the grades for the Rams’ position players:
QB Jared Goff’s numbers, 33 for 51 with 284 yards and 2 touchdowns and one interception, were alright, but one of those touchdowns was in garbage time. What Goff failed to do was the intangible stuff that makes quarterbacks great. He needed to lead his team down the field in the flow of the game since that’s exactly what QB Dak Prescott was doing on the other side of the field. Instead, Goff was inaccurate and just plain ineffective. It was a classic QB Blake Bortles performance, which is not what the Rams are paying 132 million dollars for.
Blame the coaching or the offensive line or whatever... but the run game was an enormous pile of nothing. RB Todd Gurley II can be surly all he wants, but he can’t show up like this. This was embarrassing for a guy who is going to be the highest paid running back next year.
A lot of incomplete passes intended for WR Robert Woods and WR Brandin Cooks — were those throws catchable balls? Well, let’s just say that the unit is better than this.
TE Tyler Higbee is flourishing without TE Gerald Everett on the field next to him. He failed to get in the end zone again, but he was the big target for Goff and was the lone bright light in the offense.
The gaps that these guys made for the running game were non-existent. And while the pass protection wasn’t completely awful, LT Andrew Whitworth and company were overpowered in the trenches. It felt like the Cowboys had a chip on their shoulder and were out for revenge after their loss in the playoffs last year.
These guys picked a hell of a game to get slapped around. The Cowboys’ run game was so dominant that it was shocking to see DE Aaron Donald out on the field when a guy like RB Tony Pollard was running for 121 yards off of 11 carries and he wasn’t even the leading rusher! The Cowboys stomped over these guys and it wasn’t fun to watch.
These guys didn’t get to the quarterback. Not once. OLB Dante Fowler Jr. almost got to Prescott, but missed and that turned into a touchdown to WR Tavon Austin. While ILB Cory Littleton played like he usually does, they needed to stop the big run plays and whiffed big time. When you’re allowing 263 yards on the ground with 3 touchdowns, I don't know what other grade to give out.
S Taylor Rapp and S Eric Weddle had bad games and that was pretty rare. It was just a sloppy showing that happened at a terrible time.
No field goal attempts and the return game wasn’t a factor. So, it was a game about punting. Get out of here.
This wasn’t the way to win. The team wasn’t prepared. They weren’t pumped up enough. They didn’t have the emotion needed to match the Cowboys. That’s what is needed in games like these. You need to want it more than the other team. The Cowboys wanted to stomp on the neck of the Rams and Sean McVay and company didn’t have an answer to that.