If I told you the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers played out a game in which the Rams were dominated in the trenches looking nothing like a team that could compete with San Fran, you should have believed me. It’s exactly what happened.
In Week 6.
But a bit more than two months later, the teams met again. And while the 49ers continued to set their pace toward a potential #1 overall seed in the NFC, the Rams rode the ups and downs of inconsistent play en route to being on the outside looking in toward the playoff picture. And while they fought valiantly, the Rams came up short again albeit in stronger fashion.
Rams 31, 49ers 34.
That the Rams looked much better today less than a week after looking completely incapable against the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t surprise. If anything, it’s the character of this team this year. To summon their best selves coming off of a limp output only to then come up short again on the other side. Up and down and up again and down again and...scene.
And well, scene...was tonight.
The Rams will miss the postseason the year after making the Super Bowl. The Rams will finish below double digit wins. The Rams will spend Week 17 looking toward the next season for the first time under Head Coach Sean McVay.
The game is less important for the proceedings than what it represents over the whole of the season. Great moments from the offense along with a pathetic pick six from QB Jared Goff at the end of the first half. Valiant efforts from the defense capped off by a play from S Taylor Rapp where he was guarding the sideline against...well, nobody.
This wasn’t about a single player or a single coach or a single unit or a single issue. This was the comprehensive capper, effectively, to a season of problems from multiple players. And multiple coaches. And multiple units. And multiples issues.
The Rams will have time to address them. And they’ll have a plan on how to revamp things for 2020 when they move into SoFi Stadium.
But tonight, they’ve come out of the most successful season in almost 20 years and played themselves out of contention.
And they have noone to blame but themselves.