The Los Angeles Rams lost to the Green Bay Packers today by a score of 20-3. If you only saw the final score then you wouldn’t know that the game was scoreless or a one score game for about three quarters. LA’s defense put on a show up until they finally ran out of steam. LA’s offense showed they weren’t prepared play after play. With Matthew Stafford out, Brett Rypien got the nod and he looked like a backup quarterback. The team around him didn’t execute consistently. The offense did not elevate itself in any way. The offensive attack was the weakest part of the team in this loss.
Sean McVay talks to the media after the game and he starts out by praising his defense. Probably so as to try and avoid a full on mutiny (the offense looked that bad). McVay to his credit owns it.
LIVE: Rams Postgame Press Conferences following our matchup against the Packers. https://t.co/vkXCeNHI8J— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 5, 2023
“I was proud of the way our defense played today. They kept us in the game, the continued to battle, then it kinda got away a little bit at the end. Didn’t do nearly a good enough job offensively. You have those turnovers, we don’t do a good job of capitalizing when our defense gets the turnovers, and we weren’t really able to get anything going mometum wise. It was a good humbling day. Sometimes you have days like that, but give us a chance to be able to take a step back, do a better job and figure out how we can be proud of the way that we compete, the way that we play...I want to do a better job coaching the last eight games that were guaranteed.”
Another week. Another loss. Another humbling day. The head coach seems at a loss for words. That’s unusual for him. He repeats what he’s been saying, A belief that this team can be better, but the way he talks about the eight games remaining sounds like a countdown. As in after the eight games the Rams season will be over. I am probably just reading into it.
After the Week One win against the Seattle Seahawks, without Cooper Kupp, anything seemed possible. Now it’s a question of when will the Rams win again? Can McVay win with Rypien? It wasn’t all on Rypien, the offense at a whole looked lost this game.
“You wanna be able to sort of help out Brett when he’s stepping in today, you’re absent Matthew, so that’s already a challenge as it is...I didn’t think we played very well around him either. I think we can do a much better job. I’ll have to go back and look at the tape. The weather was kind of in and out of rain which did minimize some of the different things that you can activate, particularly in the pass game...tough time ball handling even in the run game so there really wasn’t a lot of positives to take away.”
It’s unsettling to hear McVay talk about the rain as though the team couldn’t win because of it. The Packers played in the same setting. They found a way to score. They found a way to win. LA didn’t. LA has lost games with nice weather at home. They have lost games away too. The weather was a factor sure, that’s not a reason to lose a football game. This team tried and they didn’t do enough. McVay says this team can execute better. When? No time table given, and there seem to be little positives to take away after the Week 9 loss.
The rain, the lack of Stafford and other key players, the team was outmatched today. That showed in the final score. However LA was in it for most of the game, but the Rams did nothing to take advantage of any of their chances. Whatever they were doing was not working and McVay had no answers. The coach that seemingly used to call the right play in any situation seems out of plays to call unless he has Stafford (or Baker Mayfield) there to bail him out. It’s harsh but the coach admits to this. He says he needs to do a better job. The players need to play better too.
“I appreciate the way the guys continued to compete but we can do a better job. I think it always starts with me, but then I wanna see better execution, better fundamentals and techniques, better ability to be able to make some plays when there’s opportunity to be able to do that.” I wanna people to be able to look inwardly. There wasn’t a lot of good things that you can say we’ll be able to build on...there was a lot of different reasons for that. None of which are anything but an excuse.”
So when can the Rams expect Stafford to be back? Stafford is not on IR so the Rams are hopeful he is back soon, but McVay gives no confirmation at this time.
“I can’t give you any updates to exactly where he’s at.”
The coach talked and talks about doing a better job. What else can he do? Give up play calling duties? Wait for key players like Kyren Williams to get back healthy and get this offense back on track? I have to think McVay has some ideas. He doesn’t really share any here. He just says he can do better, and that if he does better then the team will do better, and hopefully the team will get healthier.
“I have to do a better job of figuring out some things that I can do as the head coach of this team to be able to put us in some better spots and figure out what are some of the solutions so that we can play better quality football, which we’ve seen in some instances and some glimpses...we’ll get some guys back. We were also missing some big times players not exclusive to Matthew...we’ll be better when we get those guys back as well.”
The Rams have lost with Stafford playing. They’ve lost with Ernest Jones playing. It’s not just the injuries. It’s not just the play-calling, It’s everything coming together in the right way if this team wants to win. Right now LA is moving in the wrong direction. Right now LA is playing losing football.
“What are the things we gotta do...to execute more consistently.”
McVay brings up the rain again. Earlier in the year there were reports that LA didn’t want to play at Lameau Field. They tried to have the NFL change that portion of the schedule. The NFL denied the request. Now McVay is 1-4 against the Packers. 0-4 against head coach Matt Lafleur and the Rams have lost to the Packers the last four times they have played. All at Lambeau. Blame the rain for this loss?
“The way that the rain was coming down during those stretches, the ball was so slick, but minimized some of the different things that you wanted to be able to do. Whether it’s executing some of your quick passing game, even just some of the screens the ball handling on some perimeter plays so your inventory gets a little bit smaller, but I’ve got to look at the film.’
Where does the team go from here? As crazy as this might sound, when should LA start to consider shutting down players like Puka Nacua (who came into the game with a knee injury)? It’s early in the season, but these last few weeks will go quick and if LA doesn’t play better after the bye week they will be eliminated. Perhaps LA is back to being what many thought they would be at the beginning of the season. A developing team. A retool, but don’t call it a rebuild. A team that is remodeling.
“Want to be able to look at the body of work for those first nine games...alright who are the guys we want to continue to do a good job building and developing and figure out what it looks like to do better.”
Curious, did LA losing their last four games to the Packers have anything to do with this game, or was it all because of the rain?
“I think each game is it’s own true separate entity and we just haven’t done a good enough job lately.”
Can Rypien play better? Should we expect more from this offense?
“Yes, collectively we can do a better job.”
So the head coach is saying the same things as last week. Not surprising and at least he’s consistent. Now if we can see the Rams be more consistent (in a good way) on the field, then we may have something more fun to talk about. Until that time, this Rams offense is hard to watch and hard to believe in. I still believe McVay can turn it around, but the ineffective offense is a direct reflection of LA’s offensive minded coach. It seems like the coach is tired of looking at it. The fans and players probably are too.