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.
Morgan Fox sacks Sam Darnold
.@AyyyeeeMoFox brings down Darnold! pic.twitter.com/RzF6xMFCPo— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 20, 2020
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
The @RamsNFL find the end zone with a @JaredGoff16 to @robertwoods TOUCHDOWN. #RamsHouse— NFL (@NFL) December 20, 2020
: #NYJvsLAR on FOX
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/4dWJuGxOxQ pic.twitter.com/baGCRdEaiF
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
Robert Woods takes the handoff and goes 40 yards into Jets territory. #RamsHouse— NFL (@NFL) December 20, 2020
: #NYJvsLAR on FOX
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/4dWJuGxOxQ pic.twitter.com/C9OaD7b42f
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
SE PONEN A UNA ANOTACIÓN— FOX Impacto NFL (@FOXImpactoNFL) December 20, 2020
Jared Goff conecta con Tyler Higbee para meterse al partido #NFLxFOX
Jets 23-17 Rams pic.twitter.com/mLR4yXLYW4
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
¿Cómo se quedó con esto Gerald Everett?— NFL México (@nflmx) December 20, 2020
@FOXSportsMX#RamsHouse #NFLMX #NYJvsLAR pic.twitter.com/dV6djUAneO
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.
Sam Darnold touchdown pass to Ty Johnson
Sam Darnold finds Ty Johnson in the flat for the catch and YAC, an 18-yard score. Jets attacked the flat and Rams' edges insanely on the first drive. #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/Lo2VkywAOn— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) December 20, 2020
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
That was a penalty on Noteboom. Not because of the jersey, because he got his hand inside his armpit.— BTHRams (@BTH_Rams) December 20, 2020
That's what refs are looking for there.
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
His name? JT Hassell— Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 20, 2020
His specialty? Blocking punts
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/M5g3E1CTLq
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
.@QuinnenWilliams got the power and the quickness.— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 20, 2020
#NYJvsLAR on FOX pic.twitter.com/BICqRLjKTt
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
What a play, @BryceHall11— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 20, 2020
#NYJvsLAR on FOX pic.twitter.com/nqGSKsi6vn
This led to three more points for the Jets.
Defensive collapse to open second half, burning timeout
.@frankgore @BigTicket73— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 20, 2020
#NYJvsLAR on FOX pic.twitter.com/y75IZJlpsX
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.
Side note: That would be rookie Mekhi Becton walling off Aaron Donald for the Frank Gore touchdown.— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 20, 2020
Not bad. #Jets
Austin Corbett called for holding on Cam Akers touchdown run
Austin Corbett called for a hold on Akers’ TD run. Good call.— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) December 20, 2020
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
Jets HC Adam Gase challenges call of INC pass by Jared Goff, wants the sack and minus yards for 3rd-&-long. Gase gets the reversal. Rams ball third-&-15 at Jets 29. Gase is 3-2 on replay challenges this season.— Randy Lange (@rlangejets) December 20, 2020
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
Sean McVay on losing to the previously winless New York Jets, who defeated the Rams 23-20 despite the Rams having 10 days to prepare after Thursday Night Football. pic.twitter.com/kXLzndK0Aq— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) December 21, 2020
I’ll let Sean McVay talk about the job that he thinks he did this week.
Frank Gore beats the Rams
Acreditem: o @NYJets vai vencer. #TakeFlight #NFLBrasil pic.twitter.com/pYFi5R8Niw— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) December 20, 2020
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.
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
Sean McVay was out-coached
Couldn’t stop Frank Gore when they needed to
Rams offensive line
Jets CBs vs Rams WRs
Looking ahead to Seahawks aka "trap game"