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Rams Over Shock Loss to Jets?

December 26th, 2020 · No Comments · Football, NFL, Rams

Has Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay gotten over that 23-20 home defeat inflicted last week by the previously winless New York Jets?

I haven’t.

Last Sunday, kickoff was a bit after 1 p.m. The Rams, however, didn’t show up until about 2, when a field goal got them to 13-3. (That score again!)

What was really irksome about this defeat?

Anyone paying attention … could see this coming.

To wit:

–The Rams were coming off perhaps their most satisfying regular-season victory during the McVay Era, a 24-3 romp past Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots — the same Patriots who throttled McVay and the Rams 13-3 in that humiliating Super Bowl defeat nearly two years ago. A bit of payback over the best team in the league for the past 20 seasons. Good stuff. But what so often comes after big victories? Let-downs and unexpected defeats.

–Warning No. 2? They got the Jets 10 days after defeating the Patriots. Football teams thrive on routine, and the Rams had three extra days to fall out of sync. If nothing else, they accomplished that — getting rusty in that extra 72 hours; they were awful for half the game.

–Warning No. 3 was gamblers so sure the Rams would defeat the hapless Jets that they bet them up to 17-point favorites. Coaches and players say they pay no attention to the odds, but they would not be human if they didn’t peek just a wee bit, thereby inflating themselves when they should have been knuckling down. (The Athletic’s Rams writer predicted a 35-7 victory.)

–Warning No. 4? The Jets have been a semi-competent team in the second half of this season, which the Rams didn’t seem to notice. In the past few weeks the Jets lost to New England on a field goal; they gave the Chargers fits before losing by six; and there was that final-seconds, 31-28, Hail Mary loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Jets seemed to think they had a good chance to win.

Still, 0-13 … that’s a bummer. You need to beat a team that had not won a game in 2020.

The Rams actually could have won. They closed to 20-10 on a Jared Goff touchdown pass to Robert Woods late in the third quarter. They cut it to 23-17 on a Goff pass to Tyler Higbee. They appeared to surge ahead on a Cam Akers touchdown run, but it was nullified by a penalty on Austin Corbett. Akers had a second TD run wiped out by a holding penalty on Higbee, and they settled for a field goal. They had one more possession, but they stalled in midfield, and that was that.

By then, I was quite annoyed. Where was the attention to detail, where were the warnings about taking seriously an improving opponent with nothing to lose? Was McVay asleep at the wheel? Where were the team leaders?

The Rams fell out of the No. 1 spot in the NFC West, and now are in a wild-card position. To win the division they need to defeat the Seattle Seahawks tomorrow.

We trust they are chastened by the events of last weekend, and McVay and his team will bring their best effort, after allowing a lesser team to take a game from them.


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