Hey, that was a great win, and whatever spell or mojo that Shanny has on Sean McVay, well, it continues. Truth be told, if any one of the 3 plays that sealed this game went differently, the entire game shifts. Both he interceptions were caused by the Rams lack of execution and focus, not on anything the defense did. Well, maybe except for Jimmie Ward playing deep safety. Same with the 3rd down drops. Also, if the 4th down play to Samuel fails, the Rams are on their own 40 only down 21-7. Scary territory for anyone that knows Shanny’s close-out ability, or lack thereof.
I’m happy it worked out, and I’m VERY happy that Shanny stuck with the run as he has a tendency to give up on it too early. But the issues remain with this defense regarding our pass rush. Anyone not named Bosa is doing little to get to the quarterback consistently. I’m frankly amazed that McVay didn’t challenge us deep more, but we were dropping Ward deep a lot. And funny thing is, Stafford’s accuracy helps our defense as we usually trip over our dicks on underthrown balls, and Stafford didn’t do that. But the fact remains, Ryans has shown little more than the base defense through most of these games as the defense gets slowly picked apart. Particularly appalling in the Green Bay game.
Running is the only way this offense can get any type of rhythm going. Get the run game just churning out 4-5 yards a rush, and Jimmy G can make his 8-12 yard throws to Kittle and Samuel and hope they snap off 20 more yards. It was a super conservative game plan, and the running negated a lot of LA’s vaunted pass rush. And it also kept the Rams offense on the sidelines. The themselves helped immensely with the two crucial 3rd down drops deep in their territory, but there you have it. A win that could have turned out very differently but for a few plays.
Then again, most games are like this. A bad call here (ask the Bears in their Pittsburgh game), a bumbled reception for a pick 6, an inopportune fumble changes everything.
I do have to give Shanahan props for putting Deebo in the backfield and using him there as it really confused the Ram defense. Scheming ways to get the ball into Deebo’s hands is always a good thing, and it worked out in spades. As noted, he stuck with the run even after the Rams closed the game to 14-7 in the 2nd quarter. The best way to keep Jimmy G safe from fumbles/stupid picks, is to do just that. Keep the defense honest on the run and they can pass.
Another thing I found intriguing is that we did not run ONE play-action pass. Never did Jimmy turn his back to the defense when throwing the ball. A conscious decision I’m sure. If it keeps Jimmy from tossing picks and more time to read the defense, hey I’m all in.