I think that some fans may have forgotten just how difficult it is to win consistently in the NFL. The LA Rams had just won their sixth game of the season, a come-from-behind marvel of offensive finesse that overcame a special teams meltdown. But it was not all offense. The Rams defense denied the Detroit Lions five times in the RedZone.
The Lions made it to the RedZone five times and scored just nine points. They turned it over on downs on one occasion. Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw an interception on the other occasion. The defense may have given up yards. But the defense did not give up points.
Yep. The social media chants of fire LA Rams DC Raheem Morris went up in Week 7, despite the Rams holding the Lions to just 19 points. Yes, the Rams’ offense did not look sharp to some fans, only putting up 28 points in a game that many expected the Rams to double that offensive output.
And yes, the Rams special teams appeared to be caught with complete and utter disarray. A game with an onside kick after the first touchdown by the Detroit Lions should have alerted everyone that the Lions had no intention of playing the odds. They knew they were the longshot to win, and so they played the entire game with complete abandonment. They threw all caution to the wind. They faked their first punt and moved the chains.
But when the Lions faked their second punt successfully, nearly everyone in SoFi Stadium and the television audience stopped in utter disbelief. It was as though the coaches ignored the game, and were following a script that the Detroit Lions had chucked into the trash before the coin toss.
It was a bad look. Ugly in fact.
LA Rams must clean up a few things
What was most concerning was the fact that the Rams let them. Special teams need to go back to the drawing board. The Rams rushing attack needs to get better. The Rams run defense needs to find a backbone. And that Rams pass rush needs to try something else. Even when the Rams sent the kitchen sink, the Lions’ offense had an answer.
Coachable moments? This game was loaded with them. And yes, I do expect that the Rams will play more effectively in the weeks to come.
I like winning ugly games. Successful teams win them. Unsuccessful teams end up on the short end. As a result of their Week 7 contest, the Detroit Lions retain the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the LA Rams remain among the Top-Four NFL teams. The Rams know that they can lean on Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense to pull them through a rough outing.
The Rams have six wins and need just six more in the remaining ten games to realistically expect to earn a playoff berth. To do that, they must defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona in their Week 14 rematch.
Until then, enjoy the win. The Rams are 6-1, which is a level of success that only three other NFL teams have achieved this soon. The Rams will next travel to Houston to take on the Texans and could end the month of October 2021 at 7-1.
Wins really do not need to be pretty. They just need to keep on coming.