Three Keys To a Rams Win Against the Bears

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 09: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to try a shovel pass as he's chased by Eddie Goldman #91 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Rams 15-6. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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The Los Angeles Rams are coming off of the single worst loss in Sean McVay’s tenure as head coach. I don’t think that can even be considered a hot take. The Rams trotted into Pittsburgh with an abysmal offensive line and the same formatted offense and lost to the Steelers 17-12. You already knew that. What is next could be polarizing for the Rams organization and team as a whole: Sunday Night Football vs. the Chicago Bears. In a game between two of the top 5 underwhelming teams in the NFL, the game could end either team’s playoff hopes and could potentially create a spark in whatever either team has left. What will it take for an LA Rams win? 

KEY #1:

Rob Havenstein and … Bobby Evans?

Bobby Evans is starting his first NFL game at right tackle for the Rams this upcoming week and Rob Havenstein has vastly underperformed in his second year post-contract extension. That is why they’re important. Against a still formidable Chicago Bears defense and notably for Evans, Khalil Mack, these two face maybe the greatest test they have faced all year.

Havenstein has been tested time and time again (see: last week) and hasn’t lived up to the hype nor the money the Rams are dumping onto him. He is a big reason why this offensive line is the worst in the league. We are talking Danny Trevathan, Leonard Floyd, Khalil Mack and Aaron Lynch on the edge for Chicago. Both Evans and Havenstein will be seeing all of these faces on Sunday night, and they’re ability to win these matchups, for even part of the time, will have a huge impact on the Rams win/loss odds. 

KEY #2:

Rams’ Defense Continued Dominance

Behind Aaron Donald, Corey Littleton, and Jalen Ramsey the Rams have built a formidable defense that stacks up against almost any other defense in the league. Ranking top 5 in rush defense and the top half in the league in passing defense, the Rams can feast on young, inexperienced quarterbacks like Mitch Trubisky. 

After the abysmal performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the year, this defense has been great. After giving up 55 points to that Bucs team, this Rams defense has given up over 20 points one time (30) against the 8-2 Seattle Seahawks. Despite the team’s recent offensive struggles, the defense has been outstanding. If they keep this up against a lackluster Bears offense, this game could end 3-0.

KEY #3:

Sean McVay Needs to Adjust

After every Rams loss, Sean McVay loves to put the blame on himself, it’s one of the things that has become ingrained in his post-game press conferences. After last week’s Steelers game, Mcvay made some comments that could seem disheartening to Rams fans. “That was just kind of the rotation,” McVay said, after being asked why Gurley didn’t see any 4th quarter touches. Instead of a promise, McVay rolled with the punches and gave a stock answer to the question at hand.

For the Rams to win against Chicago, McVay needs to play his running backs and get them involved. I’m not used to saying that a coach needs to change his ways, and especially when that coach has never been under .500 in his tenure with the Rams, but it is time. If promises are made: keep them. If questions are rolled over, like the Todd Gurley abandonment question, provide a real explanation. McVay needs to adjust and he needs to get this offense rolling, no matter how bad the offensive line is, or how messed up Gurley’s knee may be. Adjust. 

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