LA Rams discovering that weakest link dictates outcome

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams fall behind quickly

The next common factor in the Rams’ five losses is the fact that they fell behind so quickly. The Rams were behind the Buffalo Bills by a score of 28-3.  The team fell behind the San Francisco 49ers in their first game by a score of 21-3. They fell behind the Miami Dolphins by a score of 28-7. The team fell behind the 49ers in their rematch by a score of 17-3. Finally, the Rams fell behind the lowly New York Jets by a score of 20-3.

Falling behind is no crime. NFL teams play from behind all the time. What a team does when it falls behind is the problem. The only game that the Rams fell behind quickly in yet retained their poise was the Buffalo Bills game. In all other four losses, the Rams played as though they were in shock and disbelief. Plenty of emotions, but all from the wrong part of the spectrum.

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Rams don’t mount game-winning drives

The Rams do some things very well. The Rams do some things okay. But I cannot remember the last time that the Rams mounted a game-winning come from behind drive under head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff. Perhaps that is why Goff’s accomplishments seem so ‘systemic’? After all, coming back to win requires a host of many things. But perhaps the key ingredient is improvisation

Do the Rams need to pre-plan victories? After all, the Jets are not a good team. After the first two offensive series, it was clear that the Rams offensive line was outmatched. Why did the Rams wait until the team had fallen so far behind? Instead, the Rams allowed the opponent to dictate the tempo and terms of the game. And left with few options, placing Goff and the offense on an island where the ball handler needs to take risks. Fight for an extra yard. Throw to a tight window. Risks lead to turnovers.