The LA Rams needed this win. No, I’m not panicking about the Rams just yet. But the home opener, as pretty as it was, didn’t really feel like football. Not the kind that tests the fiber of a team. Not the kind that knocks a team down, and forces everyone who returns to the football field to make a decision: Should the team stay down? Or should the team get back up and punch back?
In Week 2, everyone saw what the 2021 NFL version of the LA Rams is all about. This is a team that gets knocked down but will get back up again. That is an incredibly valuable characteristic. This was a hard-fought victory against a well-coached team. The Indianapolis Colts are a very good team, better than the 0-2 start that they emerge with from this game.
2-0 gets the Rams a third of the NFC West lead
The LA Rams remain knotted up for a share of the NFC West lead. That is huge because the Rams begin to whittle away at division rivals in just two weeks’ time. The Rams continue to put up points on offense but do so without a lot of stomp in the running game. When the Indianapolis Colts were gifted a touchdown by the LA Rams punting unit, that created a situation that resembled the script for losses in 2020. Good efforts that blow up early or late, but steal a loss from the win column.
This was a game to love. A solid blood-and-guts sort of victory that makes the team tougher for the experience. Sure, there are things to clean up. No, this was not a blowout win. But it was a gorgeous ugly win.
“They’re not all gonna be pretty”
At 22:30 in the post-game press conference video above, Matthew Stafford shares what I believe this win is all about:
"“I mean, they’re not all gonna be pretty, you know? We want them to be. That’s what we practice for. You know, we practice to go out there and try to execute every single play and have it be a big play and be efficient. It’s not the case. It’s a good team. It’s a really good defense that we going against. And I was proud of our guys to find a way to win, because, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.” -Matthew Stafford in LA Rams post-game press conference"
The Rams faced adversity. The Rams defense played well enough in the red zone, denying their opponent from scoring for the second consecutive week after allowing them to drive to the red zone. On this afternoon, the defense ultimately did allow a touchdown to the Colts when they got into the red zone. The Colts never let the game get out of hand. Unlike week one, the Rams climbed out to an 11 point lead, but the Indianapolis Colts roared back and scored the next 15 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams were able to stitch together a couple of scoring drives that propelled them to the lead and finally win this one. And the Rams found a way to seal the win with a timely interception by Jalen Ramsey in the closing minutes.
This game was not perfect. The Rams were perfectly imperfect in this one. But they won a football game that meant they had to come back to claim the victory. They won when it would have been just as easy to lose. They won a game where the opponent fought them tooth and nail for 60 minutes.