Ravens Slaughter Rams 45-6
November 28, 2019
It was clear and ugly... the Los Angeles Rams were disgraced on Monday Night Football by 22-year old superman Lamar Jackson and the high-flying Baltimore Ravens. The 45-6 beatdown at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum was worse than the final score indicated. And of a greater concern... the Rams displayed absolutely zero entertainment value.
On paper it was the worst loss in Sean McVay's 43rd regular season game as the Rams' head coach. Earlier this season the team sustained similar whippings at home: they lost 55-40 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 29 and a 20-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers two weeks later on Oct. 14. The Rams have lost three of their last four games at the Coliseum.
McVay's initial response was an understatement: "We didn't do nearly enough tonight to be competitive. They did a lot of good stuff. There is a lot of things that we can clean up. I didn't do nearly a good enough job."
The game was not close once Jackson hit Marquis Brown for 6-yard touchdown on the Ravens opening possession. The sequence of plays set the tone rest of the evening: 10-yard run, 4-yard run, 16-yard run, 6-yard run, 3-yard run, 4-yard run, 5-yard run, 5-yard penalty, 6-yard run and ending with the 6-yard scoring pass.
"It was. I understand, but it was a test. That was a physical team. That was a great team. We just came to play tonight," said Jackson responding to if the game was a test. "I'm out there trying to compete. I'm not worried about being perfect. I made plenty of mistakes, just like I did on that slant to Marquise (Brown). If that had been a better pass, that would've been a touchdown. I'm just trying to play to win."
Offensive coordinator Wade Phillips' defense was so dominated, they only forced Baltimore to punt once. Left tackle and Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald had a single assisted tackle as his highlight. The Ravens double-teamed and rushed directly at his position, gaining 87 yards on 13 carries attacking him. The beating never stopped as the Ravens scored six touchdowns on their first six possessions.
They punished the Rams 4th-ranked rushing defense for 285 yards. Mark Ingram had 111 yards on 13 carries while Jackson rushed 8 times for 95 yards. But it was Jackson's arm that did the most damage, throwing five touchdown passes in his MNF debut (also a record). He has thrown 12 touchdowns in the past three games while rushing for 239 total yards.
The league has obviously caught up to Sean McVay's offense that captivated the league for the past two seasons. Quarterback Jared Goff's current form is the major reason for the drop-off in execution. The Ravens showed no mercy, blitzing and physically manhandling Goff at will. He was sacked twice, fumbled once and threw two interceptions. He had thrown less than 100 total yards leading into the fourth quarter.
Goff didn't have an answer as to why the Rams have fallen from the elite NFL ranks this season: "I don't know. It's so hit or miss every week. You want to stay consistent, but I think this game just got away from us. That's the best way to describe it."
The word is out: disrupt Goff and the Rams offense becomes ineffective. Whatever worked for Goff in the first two seasons under McVay is clearly not working now. The Ravens smothered him and got physical with receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Company. Woods caught six passes for 97 yards while Kupp grabbed six for 35 yards. Cooks caught two passes on four targets for 32 yards.
Running back Todd Gurley split duties, rushing for only 22 yards on six carries while catching three passes for minus-three yards, one week after he rushed for a season high 95 yards on 27 carries. Malcolm Brown ran for zero yards on one carry. Last week he had five carries for 15 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears.
Gurley on the team's slow start: "No, we had opportunities. We just messed them up ourselves. We didn't convert when we had the chance either. Goes both ways."
To add insult to injury cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted Goff's on a deep pass intended for Robert Woods and returned it 22 yards. Peters was traded from the Rams to the Ravens for linebacker Kenny Young in October. The move was made to make room in order to acquire cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars on the same day.
"But the reality is, what are we 6-5 now? We got to start winning if we really have a chance to get to the playoffs. One thing we talked about after the game is we're just not going to let a loss like this... divide the team," said Rams linebacker Clay Matthews.
The Rams will travel to Phoenix this coming Sunday, December 1, to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Led by the 2019 NFL top Draft pick, rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Cards are currently 3-7-1 but have been competitive in every game except a 31-9 loss at New Orleans in October.
The Rams have five games remaining on their schedule and need to win every single one to have a chance at a playoff spot. They host the 9-2 Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 8, travel to Dallas to meet the 6-5 Cowboys on Dec. 15, go on the road to play a Saturday game against the 10-1 San Francisco 49ers before ending the season at the Coliseum, Sunday, Dec. 29 hosting the Cardinals.
"We got Arizona next week and we've got to take it one game at a time," responded Goff when asked about the team's playoff chances. "We obviously need some stuff to happen, but I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility at all. We're still very much in it and just got to keep fighting."
Gurley was still confident but understood the team's predicament: "We don't have a choice. Tomorrow is Tuesday, we're usually off, but we're going to come in, get ready, watch film. We still got Thanksgiving, so you still got to appreciate that with your friends and family, teammates. And then just get ready for Sunday, honestly."