The Los Angeles Rams have stumbled down the stretch and have misplaced back-to-back video games for the primary time underneath head coach Sean McVay.
Consecutive losses towards the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles have put a significant crimp within the Rams’ pursuit of the highest total seed and home-field benefit all through the NFL playoffs whereas additionally jeopardizing their hopes of a first-round bye.
Los Angeles continues to be accountable for its future and must win its subsequent two video games — on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and at dwelling towards the San Francisco 49ers — to wrap up a first-round bye.
The Rams can also clinch the No. 2 seed with one win and a loss by the Bears, however their focus getting into Sunday’s matchup is getting again on monitor and regaining some momentum heading into the postseason.
“We have to get it discovered in a rush,” mentioned McVay. “It is guys which are making choices that, sometimes, we’ve not seen. It is guys which are making errors that we sometimes have not seen. However, nonetheless you narrow it, we’re all on this collectively. We have all acquired to do higher and it begins with me. However, we have to determine it out. All they know the right way to do is return to work, work as arduous as we probably can to determine the options and get higher for subsequent week.”
In losses at Chicago (15-6) and at dwelling towards the Eagles (30-23) final week, Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff has thrown 5 interceptions and turned the ball over seven instances whereas not throwing a landing go. The Rams even have dedicated 14 penalties within the two defeats.
“We’ve actually good management. In a time like this, you want it — from gamers to coaches to power employees to tools employees to the coaching employees,” mentioned Goff. “There’s good management and it permits us to get by way of stuff like this. That is the primary time since Sean has been right here that we have misplaced two in a row. So, we’ll see how we reply — I’ve a fairly good feeling it will be in a constructive manner.”
The motivation for a first-round bye — further relaxation — is easy sufficient, significantly with star working again Todd Gurley II coping with irritation in his left knee. Gurley ranks second within the league with 1,251 yards and has scored a league-leading 21 touchdowns, however he has been restricted to a mixed 76 yards over the previous two video games.
“It is simply us on the market on the finish of the day and we’re not making the performs and making errors,” mentioned Gurley. “Like I mentioned, we simply acquired to return to work and simply maintain grinding. We have two extra weeks left, divisional video games, so it’ll inform us so much about ourselves how we end the season. Like I mentioned, it isn’t the tip of the world, nonetheless 11-Three, nonetheless just like the second-best document within the league. So, no worries over right here with us.”
Los Angeles was involved sufficient about Gurley’s knee that they signed free-agent working again C.J. Anderson this week. Malcolm Brown, who had been the backup, is out for the season.
A matchup towards the Cardinals might be simply what the Rams must regain their mojo. Whereas Los Angeles has wrapped up a second consecutive NFC West title, Arizona is buried on the backside of the division and was bludgeoned by the Rams 34-Zero in Week 2. Gurley rushed for 42 yards however scored three touchdowns within the romp.
Sam Bradford was underneath middle within the Week 2 matchup, a sport during which the Cardinals managed solely 5 first downs and have been restricted to 137 complete yards. Bradford was relieved by rookie Josh Rosen the next week and the No. 10 total decide on this yr’s draft has been the starter since.
It has been a rocky first season for Rosen, who has extra interceptions (14) than landing passes (10) and is averaging a low 170.2 yards passing. Rosen has not thrown a scoring go in every of his previous three video games and there was hypothesis the workforce could maintain him out towards the bodily defenses of Los Angeles and Seattle within the closing two weeks.
“I do not actually wish to communicate extra on that as a result of I wish to play,” mentioned Rosen. “I could not make it any extra clear. I’d be very pissed off in the event that they did not play me, however these are choices above me. I am glad, a minimum of, from apply at present I am taking part in. I am very grateful for that. I’d be very pissed off, nevertheless it’s out of my management.”