Head coach Sean McVay gave fans of the Los Angeles Rams something to feel thankful for over the Thanksgiving weekend. LA shredded the Cardinals in a 37-14 beatdown that bumped McVay’s record to 13-2 against the NFC West foe since he took over in 2017.
This game had similar vibes as putting coal into the Broncos’ stockings last Christmas. McVay coached his team to a significant win over an Arizona team that displayed little to no effort on the field. Aside from their playoff bout during the 2021 season, this might’ve been the worst outing for the Redbirds versus McVay to date.
Sean McVay coached Rams teams have laid some ass kickings on the Cardinals before, but this is one of the worst.— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) November 26, 2023
Also similar to last year, Rams faithful had been (rightfully) fed up with some of his play calling and game planning. Some went as far as saying he should be on the hot seat or even fired. It’s quite ludicrous to even imagine McVay’s job being in jeopardy. C’mon, the guy isn’t working with a wealth of talent like his discount wannabe genius counterpart on that other LA team. My apologies Brandon Staley, but aren’t you glad I didn’t ask about the defense?
All those prior criticisms were completely warranted. Although I can’t imagine anyone had a problem with how McVay called this game in Week 12.
Quite frankly, the win over Arizona was Sean McVay’s masterpiece and it just might propel the Rams towards an unlikely playoff berth.
The Rams (5-6) have matched last season's win total with 6 games still to play. And 4 of those games look fairly winnable.— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) November 27, 2023
I continue to be impressed by this defense's resilience and ability to overcome the talent gap. The Cardinals had 292 yards, & 141 came in garbage time.
Before anyone says anything, I know the Cardinals are absolutely terrible. They’re 2-10 for a damn good reason as we all saw Sunday. Routinely defeating bad teams shouldn’t qualify anyone as a Super Bowl contender, yes even you Dolphins. However, beating the living snot out of a crappy opponent is exactly what the Rams needed to do.
LA had to win to control their destiny and they played like a team with a renewed lease on life. McVay’s dominance in calling the offensive side of the ball is why Los Angeles put up their highest point total of the season. LA was perfectly balanced as all things should be. (If you read that last sentence and immediately thought of Thanos from Infinity War, we just became best friends!)
The Rams had 33 pass attempts for 229 yards (6.9 average) while rushing 33 times for 228 yards (6.9 yards per carry). McVay put Matthew Stafford in a position to succeed with a powerful run game. Kyren Williams had 204 total scrimmage yards in his first game back from IR.
Kyren Williams Today.— Deaconator (@Deaconator44) November 27, 2023
143 Rushing Yards
61 Receiving Yards
2 Rec TDS
204 Scrimmage Yards pic.twitter.com/hhPMM8dZLr
LA being just a game out of playoff contention in what was deemed a “remodeling” year is a testament to McVay’s coaching. His teams simply don’t quit. They didn’t quit on themselves throughout their injury-riddled 5-12 debacle and they didn’t give up after entering their bye on a three-game losing streak.
McVay is a special coach and it’s easy to take the guy for granted most of the time. With all the Rams suffered through prior to his arrival, it truly puts everything in perspective. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the final six games will go. The Rams have seen reasonably quality finishes under McVay in the remaining six weeks in the past.
#Rams are 5-6 with 6 games left. Here’s how Sean McVay’s teams have fared in the final 6 game stretch:— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) November 27, 2023
Favorable matchups with the Browns, Giants, Saints and Commanders await the team in the homestretch. Heck, even the Ravens game should be competitive. Anything to wash the nasty stench from that 45-6 massacre of 2019. I may regret saying this, but Baltimore doesn’t scare me. They’re an overhyped team that annually talks themselves into title consideration even though they fall short every year.
Finishing with a 9-8 record should punch the Rams a ticket back into the postseason. Which means, they can only afford to drop two more games. Let’s pray the Brett Rypien game won’t end up costing LA in the end. Same for the Steelers matchup.
Either way, while Sean McVay isn’t perfect by any means, he proved in the win over another divisional foe that he’s the ideal coach to lead the Rams into their new era. That is indeed something to be thankful for this holiday season.