Instant Reaction From The Coach And The Don: Rams Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Ryan Dyrud
Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network
Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network

The Don

In a must win game, the Rams showed up in a big way. Sean McVay put the doubters to rest and called a great game overall. When you look at the offense in 2019, there have been a number of issues, plenty of which we have talked about on the Bleav In LA Football podcast, but most of it has boiled down to Coach McVay and his play-calling. I like to say that a lot of times, really good coaches simply overcoach. McVay has displayed this many times throughout the season.

Luckily, for the sake of the Rams playoff chances, he snapped out of it and circled back to basics and his bread and butter, and over the last two games, the offense has looked much better.

I am absolutely thrilled to see Goff being used more outside of the pocket with the bootleg. He is so underrated throwing on the run and hit some big plays against the Seahawks with this design. As long as this remains in the game plan, the Rams will have success in the remaining weeks.

Another overcoaching moment? Not utilizing one of the best running backs in the sport. The snap count has been thrown out, and Gurley is finally being unleashed. He only finished with 79 rushing yards but he had 23 carries and four catches. Anytime Gurley touches the ball 27 times, the Rams have a good shot at winning.

I can’t complete this reaction without talking some defense. After getting run out of the building two weeks ago by the Ravens, Wade Phillips and the defense put on a showtime worthy performance. Simply put, they kept the Seahawks offense out of the endzone, for the entire game. Russell Wilson was held scoreless with a pick, and the Seahawks rushing attack garnered just a touch over 100 yards.

LA registered five sacks and were in Wilson’s face all game.

28 to 12 may look like somewhat of a close game, but outside of two needless Goff interceptions, this was a well-rounded dominant performance from the Rams.

The Coach

The Rams handled their business in a must-win situation on Sunday Night Football. They currently sit 8-5 as they now prepare for another must-win against the streaky Dallas Cowboys. “America’s Team” is on a three-game losing streak but are still on top of their division at 6-7. Dallas and Jason Garrett can’t afford to lose any more this season with Philadelphia right on their heels. Dallas is a good team that can beat anyone they play and with their backs in a corner, that makes them a dangerous team.

The Rams 2019 season has been up and down, to say the least. While there have been moments where it seemed they weren’t headed for the playoffs, they are on a two-game winning streak and just beat a really good Seattle team. When you look at their five losses so far, four of them are just simply bad, with the exception being the one-point loss to Seattle earlier.

The Rams are a better team than Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, those games should not have ever been even close let alone losses. Then they got embarrassed by both San Francisco and Baltimore, two teams who look to be the best in their respective conferences. Still, when teams get beat the way the Rams did by the 49ers and the Ravens, it is totally understandable why the fan base and analysts all but wrote them off.

With the Cowboys, a potential redemption game against the 49ers, and then the Cardinals remaining, LA’s road to the playoffs isn’t easy but it isn’t unimaginably daunting either. Three very winnable games but the San Francisco game is the toughest.

While the narrative is that LA doesn’t need or want the Chargers, the Bolts will play a huge part in the Rams playoff chances next week. Philip Rivers and company take on the Vikings who currently sit one game ahead of the Rams for the final wild card spot. Regardless of any feelings Rams fans may have toward the Chargers, they will be wise to send any and all good juju their way next week.