The Los Angeles Rams’ Week 11 battle against the Miami Dolphins turned into a rainy contest both teams weren’t anticipating. The weather conditions weren’t ideal, but the outcome also wasn’t ideal for head coach Jeff Fisher and linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The defensive unit had shutout the Dolphins through three quarters, as quarterback Ryan Tannehill was unable to get any momentum going. Meanwhile, the Rams offense looked sharper than usual in Jared Goff’s debut, although Goff didn’t really provide any special tactics.
Running back Todd Gurley had his first touchdown in over two weeks, as the offensive line providing some nice creases for him to expose. However, the offense simply wasn’t able to create that true separation in order to secure the win.
The defensive unit played phenomenal during the first three quarters, as Jay Ajayi was also kept in check. However, the Rams allowed Tannehill to get going, as they took their foot off the gas pedal towards the end of the game.
When asked about outcome of the game, Ogletree said he and the defensive unit take full blame for the loss, via TheRams.com:
“Defensively, we talked about it as soon as we got to the locker room. Personally, I think we let the team down. We had a 10-0 lead, all we had to do was shut them out and we won the game. At the end of the day, we gave up plays, or they made plays, put themselves in the opportunity to win the ball game. But as a defense, we can’t let no games slip away like that.”
Going into his NFL debut, Goff said that he wanted to get the ball in the end zone, as that has been the key problem for offense this season. However, Goff didn’t account for any points in the game, and finished by completing 17 of his 31 passes, for only 154 passing yards.
The defense has become accustomed to playing in low scoring games, but seemed to rather play it safe as the game progressed into the fourth quarter. Tannehill began finding a groove and continued hitting his receivers on check downs on smart routes.
On the other hand, Fisher also decided to not go for it on a fourth down when all they needed was a yard. Instead, he elected to kick the field goal in subpar conditions and Greg Zuerlein promptly missed the field goal. If he had made the field goal, the game still would have only been two possessions.
Ogletree stated that the offense’s lack of points on the board wasn’t a concern and that the defensive unit failed when it mattered most:
“We always say we want our offense to put up 50 points, that’s not going to happen week in and week out, but they gave us a 10-0 lead. Like I said, all we had to do was either hold them to field goals or keep them out the end zone… best way to put it is we dropped the ball.”
After being slated to move back to .500, the Rams fell to 4-6 on the season, as Goff’s debut was spoiled by a team now on a five-game winning streak.
The Rams now rebound for a Week 12 showdown against the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees’ impressive passing offense.