Jetlagged: LA Rams stuck in two win one loss holding pattern
By Bret Stuter
So much for SoFi advantage
The Rams had enjoyed a distinct home-field advantage earlier in the season, but have fallen twice in the past four games in SoFi Stadium. That’s the antithesis of what the Rams need to do to close out the season. Instead, the Rams showed up with a lethargic defense, an anything-but-special special teams, an offensive line that failed to block, a running game that struggled to gain positive yards.
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Even when the offense put up positive yards, the penalty flag flew and erased the big gains. Perhaps the greatest disappointment of the game occurred after the Rams scored their final field goal with 6:35 remaining in the game. The Rams defense managed to hold the Jets to three downs and a punt. The Rams took over on the Jets’ 43-yard line, with 5:33 remaining in the game.
Running back Cam Akers rushed for 22 yards on second and six-yards to go, down to the Jets 17-yard line. But for the third time in the game, the Rams were called for an illegal block and the Rams found themselves backed up back at the Jets 43-yard line. The Rams eventually went for it on both a third-and-four and a fourth-and-four at the Jets 37-yard line. Two incompletions later, and the Rams turned it over on downs.
Et Tu, defense?
Even with a disastrous game for the first 56 minutes, the Rams were still in a position to win the game when the Jets took over with 3:54 remaining at their 37-yard line. After all, this was the best defense in the NFL, right? This was the same defense to clamp down on quarterback Russell Wilson, and quarterback Tom Brady. Surely the Rams would get the ball back and at a minimum kick a field goal to tie the game and send this one into overtime.
Instead, the Jets gained a first down with two rushes by veteran running back Frank Gore. When the Rams held the Jets to third and six on the Rams 48 yard line, the Jets passed for a first down to running back Frank Gore. That exhausted the Rams timeouts, and the Jets simply knelt after the two-minute warning to seal the win.