The secret of how to beat the LA Rams is a secret no more

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Xxx Apc Packvsrams 1128211496djp Jpg Usa Wi /

The three-game losing streak is less about what the LA Rams are not doing than what their opponents are doing. Repeatedly. The secret is out folks, and it began one year ago. Before this team lost a wave of talented defensive players, a stellar defensive coordinator, a who’s who of positional coaches, it was out.

The problem now is that there is seemingly nobody willing to, or knowledgeable enough, to fix it.

The Green Bay Packers were simply the latest sobering loss for the LA Rams, and it was the third of three losses. Hey, the Green Bay Packers are a good team, when healthy. But they were not healthy when they faced the LA Rams. They were beaten up,  without three starters on their offensive line and two of their best defensive stars.

Packers were vulnerable but prepared

This was a Packers team that lost to the Minnesota Vikings the week prior and was simply trying to hold it together just one more week to get to their all-important BYE. And yet, the Rams were the team that fell apart, that struggled, that fixed nothing.  What magical strategy did the Rams face this time?

The same old story, it seems. They ran often enough to move the chains, and the Rams seemed helpless to stop them. In fact, the pattern was so noteworthy that Next Gen Stats made it a point to share their post-game analysis:

The Green Bay Packers had done their homework. They came into this game knowing where and how to overcome the LA Rams

Rams were prepared to be vulnerable

So how about the Rams offense? Will it ever STOP tossing a pick-six to their opponent? Will it ever generate a 100 yard rushing day for any running back? Likely not. The Rams did see a couple of improvements as the team did rush 20 times in a losing effort. Quarterback Matthew Stafford did manage to toss two coast-to-coast touchdown passes. And the Stafford to Kupp connection remained very strong.

But in each of the past three games, the LA Rams offense was directly responsible for spotting their opponents 14 points and then failing to create sustained drives to help out the defense. Fans are so irate about the Rams defense, simply out of the expectation that the defense must step up and save the offense from repeatedly shooting itself in the foot.

The Rams receivers continue to befuddle and confuse analysis. Cooper Kupp delivered another strong performance, catching 7 of 10 passes for 96 yards. But the real production cam from receivers who are hovering at much lower completion rates. Van Jefferson caught three of his nine passes, but put up 93 yards and a touchdown. Odell Beckham Jr. caught five of his ten passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. But for the day, Matthew Stafford completed just 21 of 38 passes, good enough for only a 55 percent completion rate. That was against a Packers defense that was missing their two best defenders.

Rams cannot win this way

The Rams’ lone quarterback sack came at the hands of DT Greg Gaines, who had a huge game. Some players who have been designated starters are not playing at the ‘starter’ level right now. Darious Williams appeared to have mailed in his effort in this one. Taylor Rapp was a liability in coverage all afternoon. Even dependable Jordan Fuller, last year’s rookie sensation, appears to be drowning in the added responsibility of calling the defensive coverage.

And defensive back Terrell Burgess sits on the bench. In fact, the Rams went with Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, Donte Deayon, Taylor Rapp, and Jordan Fuller almost exclusively, sprinkling in a bit of Nick Scott. The Rams benched Terrell Burgess, Robert Rochell, or JuJu Hughes.

Based on what I witnessed with the Rams giving sore-footed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the opportunity to throw 28 of 45 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, I’m no longer convinced that the coaches truly are playing the best options in the Rams secondary. I don’t think it’s just a defensive coordinator.

Do you see what I see?

What I witnessed from the LA Rams in their first week out of the BYE was a team that was not out to win a game, rather a team frightened of losing the game. There was no fight, no spark. Even when the team manufactured a turnover by the recovery from Robert Rochell on special teams, it was quickly pushed to the back of everyone’s mind as the team shot itself once more.

Nobody saw a playoff team in horns on Sunday. Rather, they appeared very much to be a desperate team, with each waiting for some other player to make a key play to turn the momentum around. This is not a bad play, a bad player, or even a bad coordinator. This is a team meltdown, at a time when the Rams rightfully expected their well-paid veteran leaders to step up and will the team back to victory.

This one is on the entire organization and coaching staff folks, plain and simple. The Rams went into the locker room down by three points, and yet somehow the Packers came out to put up 16 unanswered points to win the game long before the Rams knew what hit them. The same thing happened in the previous two losses. In fact, the Rams have not been much of a second-half team all season. Can they pull it together? Sure. But the sun is setting on their opportunity for this year, and the Rams spent a lot of their future to get the sunshine in 2021.

Let’s hope for a playoff berth. At least if the Rams get there, we can hope for luck to go the other way.

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