The 8-4 Los Angeles Rams got back to their winning ways, dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7. No win November is now a thing of the past, as the Rams shone in all three phases. After the game, head coach Sean McVay and several players discussed the offense using multiple personnel groupings; the defense generating timely turnovers; and Coleman Shelton filling in for injured Brian Allen at center.
McVay on a complete team victory
“I thought there was major contributors in all three phases. Winning the turnover battle, doing a lot of the things that we talked we had talked about. It really came to life.”
McVay has previously emphasized how winning the turnover battle is a key factor in the Rams earning victories. Special teams also played well, starting the game with an impressive 65-yard return on the opening kickoff by Brandon Powell and a nice play late in the fourth quarter as Robert Rochell and J. J. Koski teamed up to down a 58-yard punt by Johnny Hekker. With the defense generating two takeaways, the offense not giving the ball up at all, and special teams playing well ... complementary football was on full display as SoFi Stadium.
Brian Allen goes down, replaced by Coleman Shelton
“Really tough to see Brian Allen get injured. Don’t really have any information on his knee. I’ll have updates for you guys tomorrow, but Coleman Shelton stepped in and did an outstanding job.”
Starting center Brian Allen went down with a knee injury on the game’s first offensive play. Shelton played OK, though there were some plays where he got out powered, including another failed rushing attempt on 3rd-and-1. David Edwards was also forced from the game, being replaced by Bobby Evans. However, Edwards was able to return to action against Jacksonville.
Coleman Shelton eaten alive #RamsHouse#JAXvsLAR #Jaguars pic.twitter.com/WmwonPBLyy— ᑭᖇO ᖴOOTᗷᗩᒪᒪ ᒍOᑌᖇᑎᗩᒪ (@NFL_Journal) December 5, 2021
Rams got creative with personnel packages
“We were able to stay on schedule. We were able to keep people off balance. I thought it was good to be able to mix up a lot of different personnel groupings, really utilize all hands on deck. It was good to get Joe Noteboom in there. Sony (Michel) was great.”
The Rams used more “12” (one running back, two tight ends) personnel and even had some jumbo packages with six offensive linemen, leading to Sony Michel rushing for 121 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Even though it was against the Jaguars, Los Angeles just looked much more physical than in recent games. Hopefully this is a blueprint moving forward, regardless of who is running the ball.
Odell Beckham Jr. continuing to make plays, despite playing through injury
“He had the hip pointer. He’s a little banged up but he still wanted to contribute for his teammates. I thought that 27-yard catch that he had really was something that kind of sparked us … And then he had a great touchdown on the fade … Hopefully he will be able to practice so he can continue to get the time and rhythm.”
Beckham got his second touchdown in as many weeks, as he and Stafford were able to connect on a fade route on second-and-goal from the one-yard line. The head coach credited Beckham’s patience, as OBJ lulled the cornerback to sleep by first faking a run block, then going around and over him for the score. And I concur in hoping he will be able to practice.
He just self revived .. One of the coldest touchdown celebrations @obj ♂️ pic.twitter.com/gmQgk4smr3— Dockery (@realDockery) December 5, 2021
McVay on Matthew Stafford’s performance
“I saw a guy manage the game. I thought he did a great job. I thought on some of the third downs, he’s doing a great job being able to move in the pocket, find guys. We had a couple drops that were really key and critical potentially, but we were able to overcome them.“
Stafford was able to battle through some bumps and bruises on his way to 295 passing yards and three touchdowns. The offense having no turnovers, especially those of the pick-six variety, was key en route to a much needed win.
Ramsey not content with fumbles, wants interceptions
“It was cool to get the fumbles but we need picks. We need to capitalize on opportunities to get interceptions as well. Maybe put a whole game together.”
Why not be a little greedy? This secondary has the talent to get interceptions in bunches. Hopefully that complete defensive game comes next week.
Ramsey isn’t looking back at the Week 4 loss to the Arizona Cardinals
“It don’t matter though. That was earlier in the year. This a new game. It's gonna be a new week.”
The upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals will be crucial for rest of LA’s season outlook. A win, and capturing the NFC West remains a possibility, albeit a slim one. A loss means the Rams once again lost to a top-tier team, and will have to play any potential playoff games on the road.
Donald, defense start game with a turnover
“Just made a play. Played it, came inside, got the opportunity to grab him. I usually throw him to the ground and I was about to do that, and at the same time I just ripped the ball and it came out. Big play for us.”
It was indeed a big play. Donald got the forced fumble as he stripped running back James Robinson and Ramsey picked it up to set the offense up with great field position.
AD forces the fumble. Jalen recovers. @jalenramsey + #ProBowlVote@AaronDonald97 + #ProBowlVote— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2021
Greg Gaines play has not gone unnoticed by Donald
“He’s playing great. Greg is just playing good football. He’s explosive, he’s quick, he knows how to rush the passer … He always says he’s the best interior rusher.”
Donald couldn’t even say that last part with a straight face. Truthfully, Gaines is having a very good season. He has made splashes as of late and has found his groove in this Rams defensive front.
Coleman Shelton loved the Michel’s physical running
“He just gave us all the confidence we needed. He runs extremely hard and he’s always falling forward … It was a fun time. He gives us all the confidence we need.”
The offensive line consistently opened running lanes, leading to Michel averaging five yards per carry. It would be nice to see the Rams continue to run the ball over 25 times a game.
Who here started Sony Michel pic.twitter.com/51KlX36QmK— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 5, 2021
Filling in for injured Allen made easier thanks to Stafford’s veteran leadership
“Playing in front of him, he points out everything. He’s a true veteran. He helps out with everything, and he gave me a tremendous amount of confidence to go out there and play ball.”
Coleman continued to heap praise on his teammates, adding that Stafford’s experience helped the former Washington Husky feel like he was “playing with a safety net behind him.”
Stafford stands tall in pocket but takes a big hit
“Just a little chest shot. Had to check myself, make sure I was all good. It is in one piece at the moment.”
It’s so much easier to get a joke in during the press conference after a win. All jokes aside, the hit Stafford took from Roy Robertson-Harris was no laughing matter. Robertson-Harris lowered his head right into Stafford’s sternum, causing him to miss one snap.
Currently has 300 yards and 3 touchdowns after missing one play.— Ryan Heckman (@RyanHeckmanFS) December 5, 2021
Say what you will about him, but Matthew Stafford is one of the toughest quarterbacks the league has ever seen.
Stafford a fan of the offensive changes
“I gotta give Sean a lot of credit. That was a great game plan.”
Stafford credited Michel’s physical running style, adding he knew it would be a “Sony Michel type of game” as practice unfolded during the week. With the adjustments to the offense, maybe McStubborn is a thing of the past.
For those curious about adjustments by Rams this week, between steadier run game and diverse pass: Per TruMedia, Matthew Stafford was 7/9/128 (0.74 EPA/throw) on play-action passes from under center and 3/3/45 (0.87) on play-action passes from gun tonight, of 38 attempts.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) December 6, 2021
Stafford on his favorite target, Cooper Kupp
“I mean, he does everything right. People probably watch him on TV and think he’s 5’10 and runs 4.6. He’s 6’2, 210 and runs great … I pinch myself every day just happy I get a chance to play with a guy like that.”
The Stafford-to-Kupp connection has been a treat to watch so far this season. After a quiet first half, Cupp was able to break the game open with 129 receiving yards and a touchdown.
.@CooperKupp doing Cooper Kupp things!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2021
@nflonfox | #ProBowlVote pic.twitter.com/x2yRoActvS
Chemistry and trust building between Stafford and Beckham
“It’s getting better and better. Obviously, hit him for the fade for a touchdown. Hit him on a nice little cross on a keeper, which was great. Just missed a chance at a big one…He’s a guy that I really am impressed with his ability to step in and seamlessly learn his role in this offense.”
I think with more time, this connection could be explosive down the stretch. Cupp and OBJ are going to be a problem moving forward, not to mention second year pro Van Jefferson.
Kupp becomes first receiver with 100 catches in 2021
“I didn’t know that. It is what it is. Glad we got the ‘w.’ That’s the goal at the end of the day.”
That’s what you want from your top receiver. I would bet that most wide receivers would know if they were close to such a milestone heading into a game. Congratulations Kupp.
Cooper Kupp giving the most technical answer I’ve ever heard from a wide receiver pic.twitter.com/E8sbU800z1— - ℝ (@TL_LARams) December 6, 2021
Kupp on the offensive identity
“We’re running the ball well. We were able to get some of that play action stuff, be able to get the ball down the field. Get a couple of explosives. At the heart of things, that’s kind of been at the root of what our identity has been over the last five years.”
Then why in the hell have we not been doing that all season?! No … now is not the time for that. Well said Cooper Kupp. Well said, indeed.
Feels good to get the win.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 6, 2021
Keep building + stay focused. pic.twitter.com/3UOLIsBaZ2