2017-Present - McVay's run

Week 16 thoughts: Rams ousted from division title; Playoffs still in reach despite health issues

PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When did it all go wrong? Did karma finally strike Rams fans who wished for Jared Goff’s removal at quarterback? Where do we go from here? Is there still a chance for this team to get off the ground and make a run at the Super Bowl?

I have a lot of questions, just as you do. The only way they can be solved is by the Los Angeles Rams themselves. Sunday was not one of those days to answer those questions, in fact, it just gave us many more to ask.

I took a comment today on Twitter and answered it after two days of reflection: here is how it went:
Follower: “Rams offensive line is very bad, including quarterback, running backs. Coaching has been terrible, need to replace all!”
My Response: “So nothing has gone right? I am not sure I agree with all of your concerns, because 9-6 teams with a playoff chance don’t usually have that many issues. With that said, we might see in the postseason all of that rear it’s ugly head.”

So there it is in a nutshell. Our Rams Talk follower has had it with the coaching, quarterbacking and running back play over the entire season. It’s time to rid us all of these albatrosses around our neck. Seems to be the general consensus of many Rams fans, but there is a silent majority out there as well. They think as I responded, and with that Sunday did give us some answers.

Without beating a dead horse, the Rams lost another winnable game, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. Losing for the first time this season in back-to-back games, the team has now been shut out of the division title that looked probable when they were 9-4. Now two opportunities remain to make the playoffs. One, beat the Arizona Cardinals Sunday. Two, the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears if the Rams lose. Simple, easy as that. But it didn’t have to be that way.

The Rams, as they have so often in this season, failed again to finish drives off with touchdowns. When an offensive team cannot produce touchdowns, it forces the defense to play near-perfect football. With Goff and the Rams facing a first-and-goal at the two-yard line, they failed to score in four tries.

Three other times the team had to go to Kicker Matt Gay for field goals to salvage points. In the end, Seattle was the wrong team to have to attempt a field goal competition. Russell Wilson is just too good of a quarterback and more often than not does not get frazzled, even after being sacked five times during a game. 

The Rams were still in the game in the fourth quarter, down 13-9, but a drive stalled at midfield and the Seahawks drove a nail in the Rams division title coffin with nearly five-minute TD drive.

Again head coach Sean McVay and Goff shouldered the blame for an errant toss and putting the team in bad situations, but that story is becoming a bit stale at this point. They can either do their jobs or they can’t. They both have to be elite against elite teams.

Goff’s detractors can now look with open eyes and sweaty palms when John Wolford takes the snaps on offense because of Goff’s Monday thumb surgery. Add to the fact that Cam Akers remains injured with a high ankle sprain along with Darrell Henderson, and now starting WR Cooper Kupp has been placed in the COVID-19 Reserve list and is likely out Sunday. Things don’t look too bright right now.

McVay’s team now must look deep inside of itself and see if they can recapture any of that offensive and defensive glory seen in the first half of this season, and that next-man-up mentality shows up for what is now the team’s make or break point of the season.

As I have said before, this team does not need to be blown up. It is a 9-6 and still in the hunt. Sunday’s home game will tell us all we need to know about the 2020 season. What it won’t define for us is whether Goff and McVay should keep their jobs after the season.

You can follow Bob Smith on Twitter @amoresports. Be sure to follow Rams Talk on Twitter @TalkRams.

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