Tag Archives: Sean McVay

Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears, 12-9-18: In-game report

Chicago used a physical defense and excellent special teams play to defeat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.  The Bears topped the Rams, 15-6, and are on the doorstep of winning the NFC North.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in- game report:

Tarik Cohen

The Sunday night showdown was largely about the defensive efforts of the respective teams but running back Tarik Cohen left his mark on the contest. Head coach Matt Nagy is as creative a playcaller as there is in the NFL, he follows his mentor, Andy Reid’s philosophy of getting your best players the ball in space.  Cohen can make plays in the passing game, the running game and through his return ability. Cohen (5’6 179) is one of the smaller players in the league but he is built well and has very strong legs. The back isn’t afraid to lower his shoulders and run behind his pads and between tackles. Coupled with his acceleration, Cohen is a hard cover. His running back mate, Jordan Howard, runs most of the power running plays between the tackles but Cohen can run the same concepts but at a lower rate. The former North Carolina A&T running back makes his money on the outside and in space.  The Bears running back finished with 111 all-purpose yards, and the team as a whole put up 336. 

Bears defense 

A mark of a good defense is the ability to make the opposing offense uncomfortable and force them to find new ways to score. Chicago forced Rams quarterback Jared Goff to throw four interceptions and held Los Angeles to 214 yards of total offense. The pocket was rarely clean for Goff, who was sacked three times and when it was clean, he rushed throws and made errant reads.  Chicago didn’t do much better than the Rams offensively (294 total yards) but the Bears have the type of defense that can carry its football team. Khalil Mack stirs the drink but the Bears possess playmakers at all three levels of the defense. 

Rams play calling 

The Rams rank in the top five in scoring per game, passing yards per game and rushing yards per game but looked ordinary against the Bears.  Sean McVay is a Coach of the Year candidate and the honor is warranted but his play calling was suspect on Sunday night.   The Rams best player offensively, Todd Gurley, carried the ball just 11 times and he finished with just three receptions despite being targeted seven times in the passing game. The passing numbers aside, Gurley should’ve seen more touches in the running game.  On 2nd and 15 to start the third quarter, McVay opted for a shotgun set when his team was on its own five-yard line.  Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman capitalized and sacked Goff for a safety. 

“Really, consistently over and over I continue to put our players in bad spots,” McVay said during the postgame press conference. “Certainly a humbling night, but it’s one you get a chance to look at yourself critically, find a way to get better and move forward accordingly and that’s exactly what we’re going to do and that’s all I know how to do.  And I have to be better for our football team.  This loss is on me.  I didn’t do a nearly good enough job for us today.  I trust we will respond the right way.” 

The Rams coach accepted blame for the loss. Look for Los Angeles to establish the running game early in their next game against the Eagles. 

Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks, 10-7-18: In-game report

Missed tackles and poor special teams play was enough to cost the Seahawks against the Rams. Los Angeles defeated Seattle, 33-31, to remain undefeated.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Seahawks secondary 

Prior to his season-ending injury, Thomas, pictured, had already posted 22 tackles and three interceptions for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks secondary was dealt another blow last week when Earl Thomas broke his left leg.  The losses in the secondary have been noticeable as the Seahawks now rank in the middle of the pack in terms of completion percentage against and yards per attempt, categories where they normally hover around the top of the league. Seattle has also struggled tackling on the back end, which caused them precious yards after the catch against the Rams.  A bright spot for the Seahawks has been rookie cornerback Tre Flowers (6’3, 194), a converted safety out of Oklahoma State, who against the Cardinals forced a fumble and then broke up a pass against the Rams that led to a Frank Clark interception.  Head coach Pete Carroll got his start as a defensive backs coach and he will have to continue to mold the young players in the secondary if Seattle wants to return to its defensive glory. 

Rams depth at receiver 

Rams second-year wide receiver Josh Reynolds contributed two receptions for 39 yards and rushed for a 10-yard gain on his one carry this past Sunday.

Starting receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are currently in the concussion protocol after suffering concussions against the Seahawks on Sunday during the first half.  Head coach Sean McVay has impressed early in his coaching tenure because of his ability to put his skill players in positions to be successful. Second-year receiver Josh Reynolds and rookie KhaDarel Hodge combined to fill in for 53 yards on three catches.  The Rams should be fine in the short term because as running back Todd Gurley showed in the first quarter, he can take a swing pass and pick up 17 yards to convert 3rd down and long.  Gurley is a workhorse running back who draws so much attention that it will force the opposing defenses to cater to him leaving room for the receivers on the outside to work.  If Kupp or Cooks miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos, look for the Rams to run the ball early and often as McVay finds more creative ways to get Gurley the ball in the passing game. 

Seahawks running game 

Russell Wilson’s dual-threat ability is the foundation of the Seahawks offense.  However, in order to truly be successful on the offensive end, Seattle needs production at running back. Chris Carson and Mike Davis have stepped up over the last two weeks. Carson rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries against the Rams and Davis added 68 yards on 12 touches after rushing for 101 yards against Arizona a week before.  The Seahawks rely on bootlegs, RPOs (run-pass options) and play actions but in order to draw the defense in, the Seahawks have to establish a threat from the running back position.  Currently sitting at 2-3, the team will have to continue to groom its running backs in order to enter the playoff conversation by December.