Though the Los Angeles Rams did lose to the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday, Sean McVay’s offense did manage to do something that no other team has done all season: The Rams put up over 400 total yards of offense against the Ravens. In fact, L.A. had 37 more yards than the next-best team, 29 more net passing yards than the second-best, and the Rams were only the second team all year to score more than 24 points against the Ravens.
And they did it in Baltimore.
How did they do it? It’s not exactly a mystery and one of my favorite YouTube channels, All_22_Films did a phenomenal breakdown of what Sean McVay did to “outfox” Ravens defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald last week. Is All_22 biased for the Rams? No, in fact, he’s a Ravens fan. But he’s also just a fan of great football coaching and you can see the admiration for what McVay has managed to do with L.A.’s offense this season.
I highly recommend watching the 22-minutes of all-22, which is essentially only looking at the Rams opening drive:
The downside of L.A.’s opening drive on Sunday is of course the fact that the Rams settled for a field goal after switching from a run-only offense to three straight incomplete passes once they reached the 9-yard line.
“I think McVay called a pass play because the Ravens came out in base personnel and he clearly knew that when he made the play call.”
Then Puka Nacua sort of ran into contact on Matthew Stafford’s second goal-to-go pass attempt and then he couldn’t quite connect with Cooper Kupp on third down, throwing under pressure and Ravens corner Arthur Maulet making a good play.
Kyren Williams had four carries for 28 yards on the first four plays, then Royce Freeman ran for three, Puka Nacua ran for six, and then Williams ran three times for 15. That’s seven carries for 43 yards by Williams on the opening drive. All_22 highlights that only McVay could run out of 11 personnel, just as he did to great success in 2018.
There was great run blocking by receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua, as well, something that doesn’t get talked about when mentioning their value to L.A. this season.
We can expect more like this from McVay and Williams over the rest of the season. Williams has 100 yards in four of his last six games. He could do it again against Washington this coming Sunday.