There’s no sugar coating it, the Rams Kendall Roy’d the bed tonight. The defense did its part and the special teams were more or less on point, but the offense made all of that null and void. Shane Falco would call this a quicksand game and it was best exemplified when the refs took away a Tyler Higbee touchdown derailing a potential comeback.
The Tennessee Titans came into SoFi and took advantage of every miscue by the Rams, which were many. Most of the week was spent in a Von Miller-induced euphoria and yet the underreported aspect of this week was how Matthew Stafford was limited in practice and tonight it showed. Matthew Stafford had his worst game as a Ram and while bad games happen to good quarterbacks there were some lingering issues that teams even better than the Titans can exploit.
One of the root causes of tonight’s shellacking came in the form of Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry absolutely pummeling the interior of the Rams’ offensive line. They combined for 4.5 of the Titans’ five sacks. Austin Corbett and Brian Allen, in particular, were bullied like Martin Prince after discovering the first snapdragon of the season. Simmons and Autry were winning with a simple bullrush and the line was overwhelmed. This led to Stafford being rushed all night and he made the kind of bad decisions that usually result in pulling an all-nighter at Denny’s.
Stafford’s first pick was a result of both his poor judgment but also the Titans bull-rushing the line. What’s weird is that the line did a solid job in run blocking although Sean McVay didn’t seem to notice.
Stafford didn’t have the best blocking but he too was just not on it tonight. His pick-six was the result of him being straight up FOOLED by Kevin Byard. Stafford had Cooper Kupp open, albeit a bit late, and instead, he chased a bad throw to Woods and that was a quick six points for the Titans. McVay didn’t do the offense any favors because his play-calling was dreadful. He went back into his make fetch happen style of coaching and abandoned the run way too often despite the fact that when he let Darrell Henderson cook, he cooked. The problem was he didn’t let him do it enough. Yes, the Rams fell behind 21-3 but he didn’t even let the run game set up play-action. That made life easy for the Titans who quietly didn’t have a great night offensively but it didn’t matter.
If the Rams hadn’t shot themselves in the foot the narrative would’ve been how limited the Titans actually are without Derrick Henry but alas that wasn’t the case. Even more unfortunate, McVay lost confidence by allowing for screens on third-and-longs, and not going for it on fourth down when he absolutely needed to. Furthermore, McVay dodged a bullet after Stafford appeared to have an ankle injury but like Darrell Henderson before him, it wasn’t all that serious.
Defensively, the Rams had a great night. Jalen Ramsey got a pick, albeit one that came with a ridiculous penalty. Aaron Donald got a sack and most importantly held the Titans to a total of 194 yards. That’s right 194 yards and YET the score was so lopsided because the offense continually shot themselves in the foot.
The Rams racked up a total of 12 penalties for 112 yards. Yes, some of those calls were AWFUL and there were additional calls that weren’t called on the Titans but those weren’t the only reason the Rams lost. McVay had a poor game plan tonight and it wasted what was otherwise a great night for the defense and an okay night for the special teams. J.J. Koski might actually end the national nightmare of Cooper Kupp being the punt returner. Matt Gay hit all three of his field goals so that’s a plus as well.
The good news is that the Rams don’t often play two terrible games in a row so this bodes well for their Monday night game against the Niners. The even better news is that the Rams only have one more game until their much-needed bye. Von Miller likely makes his Rams debut next week so there’s that. Despite what the internet would say, the sky isn’t falling. Much like the Cardinals’ loss, the Rams made mistakes that the other team took full advantage of. The offense shouldn’t look like this two weeks in a row, keyword being shouldn’t. Tonight was rough but it’s nothing they can’t recover from.