With the season on the line the Los Angeles Rams came far short against a Colt McCoy lead Arizona Cardinals team, losing 27-17 in yet another disappointing showing. The Rams now sit alone at the bottom of the NFC West without any clear path to make it to the playoffs, likely needing to win out just to have a chance.
This is the good, the bad, and the ugly with a whole lot of bad and not a lot of good.
For what it’s worth, Tyler Higbee looked like himself after posting just 22 yards on 9 targets in his last three games. The veteran tight end finished as the lead receiver with eight receptions for 73 hard fought yards and was one of the few bright spots in the offense. John Wolford threw scatter-shots all day long but when the LA tight end had his opportunities he made the most of them.
David Long Jr.
There are times that David Long Jr. has looked like a third round steal and there are times that the third-year cornerback doesn’t belong on the field. On Sunday it was the latter. With the Rams down just a touchdown with 9:30 to go in the fourth quarter, Bobby Wagner came charging through the trenches on a delayed rush and found his target for a nine-yard loss to set up third-and-17 with a good chance of getting the LA’s offense back on the field. On the very next play Colt McCoy found Rondale Moore on a routine dump pass in hopes to gain a few yards and set up a good punt, instead Long whiffed on the tackle and Moore was able to run for 14 yards. On the next play McCoy went back to Moore with Long in coverage to convert a fourth down into a 26-yard gain and set up his team in red zone.
Following a six yard gain from James Connor, Kingsbury went back to the running back. On second-and-4 Connor took a run to the outside and easily stiffed arm Long for the touchdown and what was the final dagger in a pitiful game.
With other options at the cornerback position it would not be surprising to see Long on the bench against the New Orleans Saints next weekend.
The Rams looked destined for a competitive season even after losing key pieces during the offseason. Despite losing talent such as Andrew Whitworth, Odell Beckham Jr., and Von Miller they also gained Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson while also keeping the majority of their offensive weapons. One departure no one talked about during the offseason was Kevin O’Connell. The rookie coach has now helped his new team to an 8-1 record and just finished taking out the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile LA struggled to put up more than 10 points against a Cardinals team themselves looking for answers.
While this is McVay's offense, Liam Coen shouldn't get a free pass. Last year, Kevin O'Connell had a significant role in the offensive gameplan and coaching the QBs.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) November 14, 2022
If Coen took over that role, that's a problem.
In his place LA brought in Liam Coen to help with the offense and since that move the team has never looked the same. Sean McVay will take most of the blame for the offensive debacle we have seen week-in and week-out, but it may be the time to start pointing the finger elsewhere. It would be surprising to see him on the staff next year with how horrendous things have gone thus far.
McVay’s play calling
That is not to give McVay an out from the sinking ship he created. With Wolford under center it should have been obvious that the last thing you would want from your inexperienced quarterback is to have the game in his hands. Wolford was asked to throw the ball 36 times—more attempts than Matthew Stafford last week, the week prior, and the week before that. The run game showed early flashes of success but was immediately abandoned in favor of Wolford’s arm and yes that statement was just as hard to write as it was for you to read.
The Levee has broken. The #Rams officially have hit about as Rock Bottom as it gets. Sean McVay 12 times with his running backs. Put his backup QB in position to fail. Which ultimately put the offense in position to fail. Rams will fall to LAST in the NFC West. What a nightmare.— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) November 14, 2022
The offensive play-calling has become predictable, lackluster, and downright embarrassing. This is not the boy genius we have become accustomed to, it is not the coach that took the league by storm in 2018, nor the leader that called a run to Kupp on fourth down in the Super Bowl. McVay’s play-calling this season has become just as hard to watch as the Jeff Fisher era.
Cooper Kupp is out
While we will not know the extent of Kupp’s injury until the week progresses, McVay’s comments did not sound promising.
Sean McVay says no update on Cooper Kupp. Says “didn’t look good, didn’t sound good.” Reiterates he has no update.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) November 14, 2022
I’ll keep this one short. Kupp is the Rams offense. If he is out for any amount of extended time we may truly have front row seats to one of the worst Super Bowl hangovers in NFL history lead by one of the worst offenses currently in the league.