“We have guys that are way too good for us to be losing games like this and losing games on the road.” Ramsey said via ESPN. “We’ve just got to get it right. We have to play better, everything has to be better because we’re too good to be losing games like this but we’re not playing like we’re that good right now, so we got to correct our stuff.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Ramsey. This Rams team is far too talented to be losing games like this. However, this has been their forte all season long. Here are the facts: LA has gone 1-4 against teams with a winning record, their only such win coming against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week three.
Los Angeles has gone 6-0 against losing teams. This is the sign of a good team as LA has dispatched the teams they should have beaten in the first place. Unfortunately, the NFC playoffs won’t consist of half-functioning turd noodles like the Texans and Lions. Instead, it’ll be the best of the best like the Cardinals and Packers, both of whom have given LA a sound beating in 2021.
Near the end of last night’s broadcast, NFL on Fox color commentator Troy Aikman had a rather striking comment about the fate of the Rams’ season:
“If they don’t play better than they’ve played the last few weeks, they might not win another game”—Troy Aikman was ROUGH on the rams after they lost their third straight— “nfl legend kyle orton” (@thecouchnap) November 29, 2021
Aikman was clearly WAY too harsh with his comments, but it’s worth questioning how many of the remaining six games this team will win. After their bye week, LA has a cupcake in the Jaguars before having a rematch with the Cardinals the following week. The three-game slate to end the season has the Rams competing against playoff hopefuls.
This slate will begin the day after Christmas when Los Angeles visits Minnesota to play the Vikings. I had originally had this game as an upset loss. Although the Vikings have had an inconsistent campaign, they’ve played their competition close. In week 17, the team travels to play the Ravens which is an unknown as well. Lamar Jackson torched LA during his MVP season, but his play has been rather up and down all year. Depending on his mood, he’ll either throw five touchdowns or five interceptions. Finally, the season will end with the Rams hosting the 49ers, whom they’ve lost five-straight matchups to.
In response to the team’s recent slide, Head Coach Sean McVay had a clear lack of concern over the season possibly spiraling out of control.
“We’ve got to stop with some of these self-inflicted wounds and that’s going to continue to be a focus and concentration for us,” McVay said via ESPN. “And then expect to see some results.”
Hey Sean, how exactly do you propose this? Your apparent band-aids aren’t stopping the bleeding whatsoever. Your strongest fix at the game’s most important position is shooting himself in the foot with each growing week. I’ve already dove into Matthew Stafford’s godawful stats against the Titans and 49ers. On paper against GB, Stafford didn’t play like complete crap and actually made progress by finishing with a passer rating higher than 72.0 (96.6)!
Turnovers have been his most glaring issue during the losing streak. Over the past three games, Matt has committed six turnovers including throwing five interceptions, three of which being returned for touchdowns. In fact, Stafford’s three pick-sixes are the most in the league, which were as many as his on-field counterpart has had in his entire career:
Aaron Rodgers has three pick-6s in his entire career.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 28, 2021
Matthew Stafford has three in the last three games.
Rams fans might wanna look away from this:
Matthew Stafford is the first quarterback with a pick-6 in three straight games since Matt Schaub did it in 4 straight in 2013, per @ESPNStatsInfo— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) November 29, 2021
Oh, and probably this too:
Most Pick Sixes among active QB— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 29, 2021
Matthew Stafford 26
Matt Ryan 19
Ben Roethlisberger 18
Tom Brady 17
Andy Dalton 15 pic.twitter.com/T5blokeELV
Keep in mind that as much shiitake as we’ve given Jared Goff, he’s never had a streak like the one Stafford’s on right now. Kinda makes you miss that deer in the headlights goofus from time-to-time doesn’t it? (Maybe I’m not kidding as much as I think I am.) While we can debate how much of it was his fault or how injured he truly is, Stafford isn’t doing his job but he’s not the only one.
The defense as a whole has struggled since the unit ranked first overall in 2020. It was understandable given all their losses, but falling to earth at 15th in yards allowed per game feels wrong for a unit of this caliber. During the losing streak, LA has allowed an average of 31.6 points per game. Green Bay had a strong game plan against this apparent “powerhouse” unit:
Will have more context in tonight's column but as teams are understanding what the Rams are trying to do on defense, and their team-build itself, leverages are found when you can beat 2 things at once (Ramsey, DL pressure) in one go by spamming players in low/low-mid levels https://t.co/rjQIeubfwq— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) November 29, 2021
A defensive front consisting of Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and Von Miller contributed to one sack against a makeshift Packers offensive line that started a third-string left tackle, rookie left guard and rookie right guard. The best thing Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris could do at this point is give Aaron Donald that suit that made him invisible in his Rocket Mortgage commercial. Even then he still wouldn’t get a sack against Green Bay’s line.
Look, the talent on this Rams team is evident, or it should’ve been by now. There are zero excuses for the way they’ve been playing lately, especially with them coming off a bye-week. Maybe all good teams go through rough patches at some point over the course of a long season, but this team has choked in flashing its potential against the NFC’s elite.
I believe this team will pull out some wins over the next month, but how many has yet to be determined. It’s not unreasonable to sound the alarm on Los Angeles. They can’t beat a quality team to save their lives, and their win over the defending-champs was a long time ago. Sean McVay may not be panicking now, which makes sense given his lackadaisical play-calling near the end of the Packers loss:
Sean McVay can tell you what play he called on a 2nd & 8 in the 3rd quarter 5 years ago on Christmas Eve in Tennessee and what happened on the play… but has no clue how to manage a late game situation in a game played today pic.twitter.com/lH6rdkT3Yg— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) November 29, 2021
This is the team you wanted McVay and Les Snead. How is that working out for you? You can buy an Pro Bowl roster but the likelihood of that resulting in a Lombardi Trophy appears very slim in 2021. Until you can win a Super Bowl with such a reckless disregard towards your team’s future, your methods of roster-building deserve to be scrutinized with every move you make. I still believe in this team being a playoff contender, but they are nothing resembling a Super Bowl contender. Is that a bit too harsh for you? Oh well, I suppose money can’t buy everything after all.
Out of the Los Angeles Rams remaining six games, how many do you see them winning?
This poll is closed