Just like ’20 Miami game, LA Rams abandoned 12-personnel too soon

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami one more time?

In one more example of what not to do, the Rams reverted to the very thing that drove the organization to part ways with former quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams encountered a physical Titans’ defense that created turnovers when the Rams tried to pass and dictated that the Rams convert everything into a short-field passing attack.

If you thought that the Rams Week 9 contest appeared to be very similar to the 2020 Week 8 loss against the Miami Dolphins, it was. Eerily, and freakishly, nearly identical. So much so that I had to look up the box stats to ensure I wasn’t imagining things.

In both games, the Rams quarterbacks threw one garbage-time touchdown and two interceptions. In both games, the LA Rams offense struggled in the passing game while the running game was generating positive yards. In both games, the pressure got to the quarterback. In the case of Jared Goff, he threw it away. In the case of Matthew Stafford, he took the sacks.

In both losses, the Rams defense played well enough to win the game. In both cases, the Rams abandoned the running game far too soon. In both contests, the Rams averaged 4.5 yards each time a running back carried the ball. In both games, the passing game netted just 6.1 yards or less per completion.

And in both games, the Rams applied the same old strategy, pass only.

Can it be fixed? Of course. The Rams emerged from the Miami Dolphins game in 2020 and won four of their next five games.  But to do so, the Rams cannot refuse to adapt to what the defense is giving them.  That is up to the team’s head coach, Sean McVay.