That was ugly.
The Los Angeles Rams self-imploded in an ugly 28-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Rams’ offense killed the team in this game while the defense mostly held rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in check in his NFL debut.
Here are three things that stood out in Los Angeles’ loss.
Goff’s Jekyll and Hyde tendency continues
The quarterback was awful in Miami. Jared Goff finished the game 35-of-61 for 355 yards, but his turnovers killed the Rams. Goff had four of them in the first half alone; he was picked off twice and lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a 78-yard touchdown. His second interception came at the worst time. L.A. was trailing 21-7 with less than five minutes left in the first half, and the offense was on Miami’s 27-yard line. Goff’s pass to Gerald Everett was picked off by Eric Rowe, killing the Rams hope of cutting the deficit before the break. The Dolphins could have picked off Goff a bunch more, but their defensive players missed some easy interceptions.
Sean McVay’s unwillingness to adjust
L.A.’s head coach was as sloppy as the rest of his team. The Dolphins routinely ran a zero blitz, and the Rams didn’t adjust. McVay’s stubbornness in going with an empty backfield allowed Miami to swarm the offense. The Dolphins were able to get to Goff and forced the fumbles when they sent the house after the quarterback. McVay refused to make adjustments to his game plan in the first half, which led to two mistake-filled quarters. L.A. looked better after the break, but McVay made another head-scratching decision late in the game. The Rams were down 11 and facing a fourth-and-5 on the Miami 30-yard line. Instead of going for it, McVay sent out Kai Forbath, who shanked the 48-yard attempt, ending any hope of a late comeback.
The defense is as good as advertised
The unit took a hit early when cornerback Jalen Ramsey checked out of the game in the first quarter with an illness, but the defense looked great. Aaron Donald welcomed Tagovailoa to the NFL with a strip-sack on his second his play from his scrimmage. L.A. held Miami to just 54 yards in the first half and only 145 yards total. Two of the Dolphins’ touchdowns came on drives following a Rams turnover. One came on a 33-yard drive after Goff’s first interception. The second came after Goff’s fumble resulted in Miami being set up at L.A.’s one-yard line. The defense did its job, the offense let them down.