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The Good, the Bad and the Difference

Jets take Rams to school, specifically “No Tank U”

New York Jets v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

If you are not in the mood to recount “good” moments for the Rams from Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Jets, then you are in luck. There are not many of them.

Before knowing that LA would eventually succumb to a loss on Sunday, I had only managed to compile one “good” thing from the first half: a first quarter sack by the Rams fourth or fifth best pass rusher.

I had no good moments from Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Leonard Floyd, John Johnson, Jordan Fuller, Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, Cooper Kupp or Cam Akers; his good moments were waved off for penalties.

It doesn’t mean that they didn’t have any good moments, it just means that when the Rams needed a big play on Sunday, nothing happened. Nobody stepped up. Not even against a team that was meant to have been outmatched at virtually every position.

But there was some good, lots of bad and eventually one main difference.

The Good

Morgan Fox sacks Sam Darnold

Fox now has a career-high five sacks on the season, including three over the last four games. Samson Ebukam also had a sack on Sunday.

Robert Woods catches a touchdown pass from Jared Goff to make it 20-10

Woods finished with six catches on eight targets for 56 yards. Kupp was held to 39 yards on five catches. The difference in the Rams when they have two receiving threats, as opposed to three, is hard to miss from game’s like this one. Maybe Brandin Cooks wasn’t a fit anymore, but neither Josh Reynolds or Van Jefferson have proven capable of being that receiver. Is receiver going to be a need in 2021?

Robert Woods for 40 yards

This was the only end around attempt of the game and it went for 40 yards.

Jared Goff to Tyler Higbee, touchdown makes it 23-17

Higbee led the team with 67 yards on four receptions. The Jets came in having given up the most touchdowns in the NFL to tight ends this season (12) and so it wasn’t as surprising to see Higbee have some success. New York had allowed the fourth-most yards to wide receivers though and the Rams were not successful in that area.

Gerald Everett deflection reception

When Everett made this play, I thought for sure that things would eventually bounce in the Rams favor. It didn’t bounce enough and this drive resulted in three instead of seven.

The Bad

Sam Darnold touchdown pass to Ty Johnson

The Jets have not had the lead many times this season. They had run fewer than 300 total snaps with the lead all season long. But then they led the Rams from this moment until the end of the game.

Brandon Staley’s defense allowed a 74-yard touchdown drive to open the game but then played good the rest of the half, with drives allowed of: -7 yards, 6 yards, 15 yards, 5 yards and 9 yards. Unfortunately, LA only scored three points in the first half and trailed 13-3.

Holding on Joseph Noteboom kills run by Cam Akers, sets offense back

Another moment where Akers had been stalled by a holding penalty. LA actually had fewer penalties and penalty yards than the Jets: 5 for 43 as compared to 6 for 61.

J.T. Hassell blocks punt attempt by Johnny Hekker

This is as good as any other moment to decide when things started to look seriously bad for the Rams. It is the third time in Johnny Hekker’s career that he has had a punt blocked.

Quinnen Williams sacks Jared Goff

This was Williams’ seventh sack of the season. He left midway through the game with a head injury, which is also when it seemed like the Rams were finally able to move the ball.

Bryce Hall intercepts Jared Goff

This led to three more points for the Jets.

Defensive collapse to open second half, burning timeout

Frank Gore hit a third-and-2 for three yards early in the drive and it felt like a pivotal moment. The inability to stop Gore in key moments seemed to really break the defense at certain points in the game.

Austin Corbett called for holding on Cam Akers touchdown run

Offensive linemen haven’t had to be “called out” many times this season for the Rams. Good or bad. They’ve mostly just done their job and kept their names out of the refs mouths at pivotal moments. Today was not one of those days.

Jared Goff sacked midway through fourth quarter

This sack pushed the Rams back far enough that eventually they settled for a field goal instead of getting a touchdown. It was a series of bad moments for the offense that negated some good plays.

Goff incomplete deep passes to turn it over on downs

I’ll let Sean McVay talk about the job that he thinks he did this week.

Frank Gore beats the Rams

Gore’s stats don’t reflect how valuable and essential he was to the Jets beating the Rams. He gained all 21 yards on their final game-winning clock-killing drive.

The Difference

You want a lot of options for this answer when you win. You don’t want a lot of options for this answer when you lose. Unfortunately, this week we do have the latter.

Was it that Sean McVay got out-coached by Adam Gase? The Jets corners and safeties against Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and the other Rams receivers? Frank Gore barreling his way through the LA defense for the extra one or two yards that he needed? The Rams offensive line making mistakes at key moments? Was LA looking ahead to the Seahawks?

You tell me, what was the difference today?


What was the difference in the Rams loss to the Jets on Sunday?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Sean McVay was out-coached
    (234 votes)
  • 5%
    Couldn’t stop Frank Gore when they needed to
    (45 votes)
  • 16%
    Rams offensive line
    (129 votes)
  • 16%
    Jared Goff
    (135 votes)
  • 0%
    Jets CBs vs Rams WRs
    (7 votes)
  • 31%
    Looking ahead to Seahawks aka "trap game"
    (250 votes)
800 votes total Vote Now