Los Angeles lost in Week 2 to the Washington Redskins. They struggled to put together a late game-winning drive and paid the price for it.
The Rams won a shootout in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers haven’t won a game all season, but they came dangerously close to beating the Rams. The defense and special teams collapsed late in the game. Los Angeles almost shot themselves in the foot.
The Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. There’s no negative connotation to add to this. That’s why head coach Sean McVay won this week.
The McVay Touch
Sure, the Rams started 3-1 under Jeff Fisher last year, but this feels different. Here are a few things McVay’s Rams accomplished in Week 4 that the Rams didn’t even sniff in 2016:
- Todd Gurley ran for over 100 yards and had over 200 total yards on the day.
- Jared Goff looked like a Pro Bowl level quarterback.
- They made halftime adjustments to fix the holes in their defense from the first half.
- The Rams came from behind to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.
- They played like a team that people need to take seriously.
I could have made a reasonable case for McVay to be the week’s winner after Week 1 or Week 3, but it never felt right. This was the 31-year-old rookie coach’s coming out party. He rallied his squad to a come-from-behind victory against one of the best teams in football last season. McVay has quickly become the most talked about coach in the nation, and the Rams finally have a real spotlight on them.
The team already has as many 20 point games as it did last season. They Rams have scored 30 points in a game as many times as they did in the previous two seasons combined. They have already put up 40 points more than they have in the previous 10 seasons combined. This is easily the most exciting offense the Rams have fielded since the days of Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson, and Torry Holt. The Rams new trio of Goff, Gurley, and Sammy Watkins deserves a lot of credit for this turnaround. However, this doesn’t happen without McVay orchestrating his system to near perfection.
Looking to the future
Los Angeles still has work to do before we consider the team a real threat to make a run in the playoffs, but I haven’t felt this good about the Rams in a long time. The weak link on the team right now is the defense. Luckily for the Rams, they have arguably the best defensive player and defensive coordinator in the league. The future is bright for the Rams.
There’s good reason why people are calling this turnaround unprecedented. Young coaches are always a risky hire, especially when they are the youngest coach in NFL history. Risky is the last word I’d use when describing how I feel about having Sean McVay as our head coach. The Rams are in great hands.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He graduated from Marquette University in 2016. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.