What we learned from Rams win over Cowboys

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Rams made a statement win in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, proving this young team has a legitimate chance of making the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Rams are 3-1. While you can attribute the first and second wins of the season to playing bad teams (Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers), this one against the Dallas Cowboys was a statement win. At the same time, the Rams need to get better every week. So what did we learn about the team this week? Here are a few thoughts.

The Rams can compete with anyone

This may not be the same team that went 13-3 last year on the backs of two rookies, but this is a talented Dallas team. And the Rams beat them in Dallas. So if you’re keeping track, that is back-to-back road wins for a young team. They are in a position to make a push to win the division and see their first playoff appearance since 2004.

But the margin is still too thin. The Rams had zero turnovers today. One Todd Gurley fumble or Jared Goff interception could have changed the outcome. The strip sack could have gone a different way. Those things are going to happen in a long season.  In order to be a playoff team, the Rams need to take another step and begin to beat teams handily.

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Todd Gurley is the perfect McVay back.

We are seeing Gurley at his best. He can run routes like a receiver, run for power, run for speed on the outside. Gurley can do it all. We are seeing him thrive in this Sean McVay offense. A great example is the 53-yard touchdown catch that he took to the house (thanks to an amazing block by Josh Reynolds).  But we are also seeing McVay’s offense thrive with a talent like Gurley. This Reminds me of Marshall Faulk in the early 2000’s, who was able to hurt the defense in so many ways. Gurley is special.  The more he continues to have amazing games like this, the more it will open up plays for other players on this offense.

The defense is better than it had been playing

We saw Wade Phillips’ defense play the best it has all year in the second half. They forced three and outs.  They stopped a key two-point conversion (which took three tries).  And they stopped Dallas on the final drive to win the game. That is what will be needed for this team to go far. They need to get better every week, get pressure on the quarterback, and force turnovers.

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The Rams may have the best special teams in football

Greg Zuerlein was amazing today. McVay gave him a game ball and called him “Mr. Automatic” in the speech in the locker room. And even though Johnny Hekker only had two punts in this game, he consistently flips the field and sets the defense up with positive field position. Two turnovers in the return game last week almost cost the Rams the game. This week shows just how good this special teams unit is.