LA Rams McVay and Goff must end Belichick haunting their career

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Jared Goff Sean McVay
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /


Winning in the NFL gets more difficult with more success. Teams that seem to sustain the ability to win do so by remaking themselves to fit a new influx of talent. They continue to evolve, to innovate and change.  But it does not come easily. Necessity can be the mother of innovation, as can desperation. Successful teams overcome desperate times by solving for the moment, and then using those lessons to improve moving forward.

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The Rams offense did not stick to a ‘formula. After losing offensive linemen to injury, the team could no longer sustain 11 personnel and win games. Instead, the team began a slow process of evolution. To overcome shortcomings in the blocking and running games, the Rams featured 12 personnel – two tight ends and one running back – to give QB Goff more time to throw. With two tight ends, the Rams began to throw that way, and discovered that their tight ends could lead the offense.

Running game

But not every experiment for the Rams worked like a charm. The Rams rushing attack in 2019 struggled. Had featured running back Todd Gurley truly lost a step?  Or had the Rams offensive line simply stopped being able to open the holes wide enough? Whatever the cause,  the Rams running game dropped below the NFL benchmark of 4.0 yards per carry.

Without fear of a running game, defenses keyed on the Rams passing game. That led to the insertion of two tight ends. But it also created another train of thought. Why pay top dollar for a running back who now needed an elite offensive line to function? Why pay top dollar for a receiver to stretch the field when the quarterback simply doesn’t have enough time for that play to develop?