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What was the Rams best and worst game of 2019?

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A look at some options

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams went 9-7 last season, finishing 11th in scoring, 17th in points allowed, and they had a +30 point differential. They were 12th in DVOA and were almost opposite of their point total rankings: 17th in offense, 9th on defense, and 23rd on special teams. That was the total of the Rams 2019 season — in an unusually small nutshell — but what about on a case by case basis?

What was the “best” game by LA last year and what was the “worst”? However you may want to define those terms.

It could be defined by what was best for the direction of the franchise. A win over a division rival. A loss to a division rival. The point differential. An injury you didn’t want to see. An embarrassment to a team the Rams should have beaten on most occasions. There were 16 options to choose from but clearly nine options for the best win and seven for the worst loss. Here are a few that stand out.

Best

Week 7 - 37-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons

Though they were 1-6 after the loss, the Falcons rallied after their bye week (following a loss to the Seattle Seahawks) to win six of their final seven games. They 27-point loss was Atlanta’s worst of the season and only the Houston Texans came close to blowing them out to that degree. The Rams had 9.61 EPA on offense, 10.97 EPA on defense, and a season-best 7.98 EPA on special teams.

Week 13 - 34-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals

The 18.95 Expected Points Added on offense was LA’s best mark of the year. The 16.98 EPA on defense (aided in large part by a 31-yard INT TD return by Taylor Rapp) was the second-best mark of the season. Jared Goff’s 424 passing yards was the third-highest total of the season and his second-highest total in a win. The 172 yards by Robert Woods was a career-high. The 95 rushing yards by Todd Gurley was his third-best mark of the year and he didn’t go over 100 in any game, so he was very close to his season-high. Blessed with a Blake Bortles appearance.

Week 14 - 28-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks

A Sunday Night Football home victory over a division rival that was relatively easy for Sean McVay and company. The Rams had a 21-3 lead and they held onto that without much of a fight from the opposition. One of Russell Wilson’s worst games of 2019. Wilson is now 7-9 career against the Rams, compared to 9-6-1 vs the Cardinals and 12-4 vs the 49ers. The 116 yards by Tyler Higbee was a career-high.

Week 11 - 17-7 win over the Chicago Bears

Another Sunday Night home win over an NFC defensive-led team. This one even better than Seattle, especially now, and LA managed to pull out a close victory at a key time in the season. Aaron Donald had two sacks and four QB hits in this one.

Week 2 - 27-9 win over the New Orleans Saints

I’m not sure many people could’ve understood before the season if you told them that the Rams would beat the Bears, Seahawks, Falcons, and Saints, but not make the playoffs. LA’s stock was up, up, up after a 2-0 start (soon to be 3-0) including this win over the Saints even though the game was mostly played by Teddy Bridgewater. Still, Bridgewater went 5-0 as a starter but 0-1 as a fill-in during this game vs the Rams. Cooper Kupp had 120 yards, fourth-best of his career. He had 220 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in a win last year, but I’m not including that on the list since the Bengals were the worst team in the NFL.

Poll

What is the Rams best win?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    37-10 Falcons
    (13 votes)
  • 5%
    34-7 Cardinals
    (23 votes)
  • 58%
    28-12 Seahawks
    (249 votes)
  • 0%
    17-7 Bears
    (4 votes)
  • 31%
    27-9 Saints
    (134 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (2 votes)
425 votes total Vote Now

Worst

Week 4 - 55-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Power Rankings be damned as the 3-0 Rams fell to 3-1 by allowing an unreal 55 points to Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Tampa Bay went up 21-0, then 38-20, then 45-27. The Rams fought back over and over again, pulling to within five points midway through the fourth quarter, but the defense couldn’t get a stop and on the following drive, a Goff fumble led to a Ndamukong Suh touchdown vs his old team. This set off three straight losses.

Week 12 - 45-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens

Quite an obvious candidate, as this was 39-point loss at home. The lowest point total of the season and the worst defensive performance of the year too. The only “credit” you can give to the Rams in this one is that Baltimore was the best offensive and defensive team of the year, and certainly the best team LA faced last season.

Week 10 - 17-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers

The four turnovers tied the season-high they set vs the Bucs. Facing a team with Mason Rudolph at QB and Jaylen Samuels at running back and few healthy weapons of note (or at least weapons that didn’t have a signal caller who could get them the ball efficiently), the Rams had an opportunity to grab a key win. This could have made them 10-6. Instead, it was their worst offensive performance of the year by EPA and not only did Goff have two picks, Johnny Hekker threw one in for good measure too.

Week 15 - 44-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys

Great games for Dak Prescott (123.8 QB rating), Ezekiel Elliott (117 rushing yards), and Tony Pollard (131 rushing yards). The defense had zero sacks. At one point down 37-7. Wire to wire outmatched by an 8-8 team.

Week 16 - 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers

They got swept by the Niners. What’s worse? The bad performance in which the Rams lost 20-7, or the one that they should have won? LA tied the game 31-31, then immediately had SF at 3rd-and-16. Which they converted for a first down. When the Niners had 3rd-and-16 again, Jimmy Garoppolo found Emmanuel Sanders and the 49ers were 46 more yards down the field.

Week 5 - 30-29 loss to the Seattle Seahawks

Greg Zuerlein misses from 44. The Rams had a lead from 3:10 left in the third quarter to 2:34 left in the game, but couldn’t hold on or secure the lead back. Pair these last two losses on the list and the Rams have a much different outcome in the NFC West.

Poll

What was the Rams worst loss?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    55-40 Bucs
    (75 votes)
  • 48%
    45-6 Ravens
    (234 votes)
  • 11%
    17-12 Steelers
    (53 votes)
  • 6%
    44-21 Cowboys
    (32 votes)
  • 5%
    34-31 49ers
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    20-7 49ers
    (7 votes)
  • 10%
    30-29 Seahawks
    (51 votes)
479 votes total Vote Now