Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams team seemed to have regressed on both sides of the ball this season. Many appeared to have pointed fingers at fourth-year quarterback Jared Goff for the decline in offense. However, people cannot put the blame solely on Goff for the team inadequacy sub-par play.
Despite Goff's horrible first quarter performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, aside from his three interceptions and one fumble, he did not allow those negative plays to prevent him from continuing to compete throughout the game. Goff finished the game 45-68 (45 competitions tied for NFL record), 517 passing yards, and two touchdowns.
The Rams fell to the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday, in a heartbreaking loss 30-29. Kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal with 11- seconds left in the game. Two crucial penalties on the drive led to the long field goal attempt, which pushed slightly to the right of the goal post.
Here are three contributing factors that led to the Rams loss to the Seahawks last week:
Todd Gurley fumble in red zone
Todd Gurley has fumbled against the Seahawks for the fourth time in his young NFL career, which could have made a pivotal outcome of the score. Trailing by eight points with 5:25 left before halftime, Goff would find Cooper Kupp across the middle for a 25-yard reception setting the ball at the Seahawks 20-yard line.
Now with first and ten, Gurley takes a hand-off to the right for a short gain but is stripped by linebackers Jadaveon Clowney and Bobby Wagoner. Surprisingly enough, it is the third time that Wagoner been able to force a fumble from Gurley. The Rams were driving with four minutes before the half, and Gurley fumble took what could have been a golden opportunity to put points on the board.
Nonetheless, it did not; however, the Rams would receive the ball back with one more opportunity as Goff found Kupp for a short touchdown pass with 12 seconds left before the end of the half. If not for Gurley fumble and the offense could not score, the percentage of Zeurline converting a field goal was high.
Clay matthew roughing call
The Rams appeared to have stopped the Seahawks on a third down and long, however, they penalized for a shocking roughing the passer call by Clay Matthews on Russel Wilson. The awful penalty extended the Seahawk's drive trailing the Rams by six late in the fourth quarter.
The Rams were out of challenges as replay visibly showed Matthews indeed did not inflict a personal foul on Wilson. Video replay showed Matthews turned his head to the side and nudged Wilson with his shoulder, causing him to go down the turf. Wilson appeared to have given up on his read and was throwing the ball away.
Nonetheless, Matthews could of just his extended his arms out using his hands to contact Wilson more than likely would not have been flagged. The Seahawk's capitalized on the penalty and ended up taking the lead on a fantastic scramble by Wilson and finding a wide-open Chris Carson in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
Gerald everett drop result in turnover
On a drive after relinquishing their lead to the Seahawks, the Rams received the ball back with 2:29 remaining in the game. It was a third down and ten on their 34-yard line. Goff drops back to pass and would find an open Gerald Everett at the 43-yard line.
Whether a slightly errant pass, this was a very catchable pass for Everett to have made in which he would not only pick up the first down but also gain additional yardage. It appeared that Everett might have misjudged the trajectory of the ball. Catch it with his body or his hands; it was a very catchable pass. The drop resulted as a deflection that ended up in the hands of a diving Tedric Thompson. It was a fantastic catch as Thompson was able to get his hands underneath the ball for the turnover barely.
Everett did not allow that miscue to remove him mentally from the game. On the very next possession, Goff would connect with Everett on the same route that led to an interception, for a huge 32-yard reception.
On a third down and 15 yards to go, the two connected again on a 12-yard reception, which put them in field goal range. Had Everett ran for one more yard, that may have been a difference of Zeurlein missed winning field goal.
However, we have to give Everett credit after playing merely the best game of his career with seven receptions and yardage total as he gained 136 yards on seven catches. It was Everett's first career 100-yard receiving game and has seemed to start delivering as McVay been expecting.
Brian allen losses focus of snap counts
The Rams would not resign veteran center John Sullivan and lost their longest-tenured starting guard Ram Roger Saffold to free-agency. Moving forward with two second-year players at those positions have shown a tremendous difference on the offensive line.
The first-year starter at the center position Brian Allen has struggled significantly this season. At the crucial point on Ram's final drive, Allen was the culprit of two mental errors causing penalties.
On a second-down and one yard to go, Allen somehow did not focus on Goff, who was clapping for him to snap the ball. The miscommunication resulted in the play clock running down, and the offense penalized with a five-yard delay of game penalty.
On the same possession with 36 seconds left and on a third down and one, a mental lapse caused another penalty. Allen forgets the snap count that resulted in the entire offensive line with a full start penalty. The penalties stopped the momentum of the Rams defense that had the Seahawks on their heels. Allen would get bailed about crucial catches by Robert Woods and Kupp, who were able to pick up the first downs.
Allen, who has played back to back nightmare games, will not get any easier this Sunday against a defensive line that applies much pressure with their front four. Allen will practically need to flawless against the San Francisco 49ers front seven in a game will also be missing starting running back Todd Gurley to assist with protection.