It’s over…this depressing, frustrating, Los Angeles Rams season is over. Apologies to the city of Detroit and Jared Goff. They ended their season the way it began, with a loss. Like their previous meeting, the Seahawks pulled out a win at the last possible second, only this time it wasn’t all the Rams fault.
Yes, there were plenty of mistakes (more on that later) but the fact of the matter is, the officiating gave Seattle a little boost. Again, the Rams weren’t blameless here but C’MON! This could be the last time Sean McVay is on the sideline and for it to end in an overtime loss to a mediocre Seattle team seems like an awful way for this era to end. Perhaps that’s being dramatic but until there’s a press conference the wild speculating will remain.
The Rams Offense
After a few games of euphoria, the Baker Mayfield (13/26 1 pick) experience ended the way it ended in Cleveland, with disappointment and no fanfare. He’ll net the Rams a comp pick and some memories so it wasn’t all for naught. It wasn’t entirely his fault. He did get sacked five times as the Rams line once again did what’s done all year and failed to provide protection.
What it DID do was allow Cam Akers to end his season on a high note. Akers had 21 carries for 104 yards and a fourth-down conversion. Not bad for a guy who missed a month of the season because they were trying to trade him. The run blocking also allowed Tutu Atwell to score the Rams’ only touchdown of the game so there’s that.
Back to Baker, his biggest blunder came in OT when he underthrew Van Jefferson (3 catches 61 yards) on what would’ve been a massive gain if not the game-winning touchdown. Instead, it was picked, setting up Seattle’s winning field goal.
The offense struggled time and time again to get into field goal range late in the game and honestly, that was par for the course this season. Yes, McVay finally got the running game in order but because it’s the Rams, it came at the cost of the passing game. A healthy Stafford and an inevitably improved line should make that look better next year, as will a revamped offensive coaching staff.
The Rams Defense
Defensively, the biggest surprise was rookie Quentin Lake leading the day with eight tackles and a sack. He, Michael Hoecht, and Leonard Floyd were the only Rams to register sacks. So that’s something. He did have some rookie errors though. He had an interception and fumbled it away. His fellow rookie safety Russ Yeast left the game with a pulmonary contusion but is expected to be ok.
Bobby Wagner also balled out for his first time in Seattle as an opponent. He had seven tackles and was on Geno Smith all day.
Jalen Ramsey had two picks and two big goalline tackles that prevented Seattle from getting a late touchdown. That said, he did have a major mistake where he got called for a personal foul on Geno Smith. Yes, Geno Smith did some acting on par with Colin Farrell in “Banshees of Inesherin” but he should’ve been smarter. He also kept D.K. Metcalf at bay emancipating himself from the guy the internet considers his dad.
Taylor Rapp even had a big goal line stop and while he seemed to struggle in run defense, he did submit a decent last-minute audition for his next team. Troy Hill got absolutely ROASTED by Tyler Lockett and the run defense was BRUTALLY bad today.
Special teams weren’t without their issues. Robert Rochell blew it by not downing the punt at the one-yard line. There also wasn’t much going on in the return game. That said, Matt Gay was 3/3 so there’s that.
Look, this season has been a massive disappointment, between the injuries to the offensive line, Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, etc. Questionable coaching from McVay, personnel hires, and roster moves. The Rams were embarrassed multiple times on TV and are once again dealing with rumors surrounding the futures of Aaron Donald and Sean McVay.
This off-season stands to be tumultuous and eventful, so basically another season in LA. Still, no one can take away last season. If Sean McVay does indeed leave for a while to decompress/work in TV he doesn’t deserve ire and derision, but gratitude. Despite people calling him a “frontrunner” he’s the biggest reason why the new LA Rams had an identity and a culture.
While this season has been an atrocity it’s still been a pleasure to cover every game of the season. Thanks to everyone who read these recaps despite the fact that they were more vibe based as opposed to written by someone who watched every frame of the game multiple times. Hopefully next year the vibes will be more fun! See you in the off-season.