Even though the Los Angeles Rams are in a good spot at 5-1, there are still some things to improve on with the early offensive struggles being the main one.
The Rams went on the road in Week 6 and destroyed the New York Giants to the tune of a 38-11 victory. While that’s exactly what you want to do when playing an inferior opponent, it wasn’t always pretty as the offensive started off slow once again.
L.A. went into the second quarter 3-0 before beginning to heat up. Part of that was due to the defense coming up with turnovers to create a short field for the offense, but by the end of the second quarter, the Rams had scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-3 lead.
When discussing the win, Rams head coach Sean McVay had high praise for the performance of the defense but made sure to note that the offense has to be better from the opening whistle, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:
“Good team win. Really pleased with our defensive effort today,” he said. “I thought they were outstanding. They got a bunch of short fields. A lot of credit for the first-half points goes to them. Taylor Rapp, Rochell. I thought our rush was outstanding. I thought the defensive coaches put together a good plan. I thought we flew around and I was really pleased with that. I think we can be a lot sharper offensively. We’ve got to start faster. There’s no excuse, got to be better than that. But we’ll take the win and I thought our guys did a nice job.”
The Rams’ first two drives of the game ended with third-down sacks on Matthew Stafford, who ended up finishing the day with 251 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
McVay again expressed frustration with how his offense started because he knows what they’re capable of:
“I just think the slow starts, it’s not good enough,” he said, visibly frustrated. “Not pleased with it. I really liked the way we came out in the second half and were able to have two 14-play drives to control the game. I thought our running backs ran hard. I thought our offensive line did a great job being able to come off and set the line of scrimmage against a very physical defensive line and a physical front as a whole. But again, I don’t want to come up here and continue to say the same things. We’ve just got to do a better job, I’ve got to do a better job. It was a great job by our defense getting us in position to be able to score points as a team, but we’ve got to be better.”
While it didn’t hurt them against the Giants and probably won’t the next two weeks against the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, McVay is right that those slow starts could cost the Rams when they face good teams.
L.A. has all of the ingredients to make the Super Bowl, but it’s clear they still have a ways to go before realizing that potential and McVay is doing what he can to keep his team from getting complacent.