Sean McVay is supposed to be an offensive genius. Jared Goff has a $134 million contract.
In a game that decided the NFC West championship, McVay and Goff helped the Rams get nine points. In their biggest game of the year, the Rams didn’t reach double digits. It’s not like the Seahawks’ defense is the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, either.
Goff was not good and McVay wasn’t too impressive either. The game was winnable. The Seahawks’ offense didn’t do much. The Rams’ defense did its part. But Seattle’s improved defense had some huge plays and led the way to a 20-9 win that clinched an NFC West championship.
Los Angeles’ offense, with its highly paid quarterback/coach combination, let the Rams down. The same happened last week in a shocking home loss to the winless New York Jets. It has happened too often the past couple seasons.
Rams struggle in a big game
The stakes were clear coming into the game. The Seahawks would clinch the division with a win. The Rams wouldn’t clinch the NFC West with a win but would take control of the race, needing a win or a Seahawks loss in Week 17 to take the division.
When you pay a quarterback $134 million, it’s for games like Sunday. Had Goff played well and Russell Wilson played a little better, there’s nothing wrong with that. But Goff did almost nothing and had a couple mistakes that were too costly for the Rams to overcome.
A Goff interception late in the first half was inexcusable for a rookie making his first start, much less a veteran with a nine-figure deal. He was rolling right and floated a pass to nobody in the middle of the field. It was an easy interception for safety Quandre Diggs without any Rams receiver around. It was an inexplicable play for Goff.
Then the Rams couldn’t punch it in during a key sequence late in the third quarter. They had the ball inside the 5. The Rams ran four straight times, including a failed quarterback sneak on third down and a handoff to Malcolm Brown on fourth down that had no chance. It was a surprisingly uncreative series of play-calling by McVay.
Goff ended up with 234 yards on 43 attempts. He had a 61.6 passer rating. The Rams didn’t score a single touchdown.
The Rams needed much more out of McVay and Goff to win Sunday, and they didn’t get it.
Seahawks clinch division title
Early this season, Seattle had one of the worst defenses in the NFL. It hasn’t been great the past couple months, but it is much better. Pete Carroll and his staff deserve a lot of credit for the improvement.
It seemed like if the Seahawks won the NFC West, it would be with Wilson throwing for a bunch of yards and winning shootouts. Wilson has slowed down considerably since his hot start this season, but the Seahawks have won in other ways. And when the Seahawks needed Wilson to make a couple big plays, he did. He rushed for one touchdown and his TD pass to Jacob Hollister with less than three minutes remaining put the game away.
The Seahawks will be hosting a playoff game, and if they can get Wilson going and the defense keeps getting better, they can make a run. The Rams have not clinched a playoff spot yet. Given how bad they’ve played the past couple weeks, they might not deserve it.
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