The Los Angeles Rams fell to the Arizona Cardinals 37-20 on Sunday. They’ll need to put the loss behind them with the Seattle Seahawks right around the corner on Thursday night. Sunday’s loss exposed some of the Rams’ weaknesses. Here’s what they need to do to avoid a second consecutive loss.
Limit the Turnovers
The Rams compounded mistakes on the offensive side of the ball against Arizona. This led to momentum swings that the defense was unable to reverse. You can start with the interception by Matthew Stafford. The Rams had a chance to take a potential 10-0 lead. Instead, the Cardinals got the ball and scored a touchdown.
Later in the half, looking to respond to a Cardinals touchdown, Michel fumbled. This turned a four point deficit into 11 points.
It’s fair to assume that most NFL teams won’t win many games when they turn the ball over multiple times in a game. The Rams need to be careful with the football, especially in a hostile environment like Seattle.
Stop the run
The Los Angeles Rams gave up a over 200 yards on the ground Sunday against the Cardinals in a game they were trailing at half time. This will not serve as a recipe for success in the future against a loaded NFC West. It is a must that the Rams run defense needs to have a better Week 5.
Prior to the Cardinals game, the Rams had been doing a decent job. Jonathan Taylor was held to 3.4 yards per carry. Additionally, both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones saw little success in Week 3.
Everyone is aware that Seattle has weapons on offense with DK Metcalf, Tyler Locket and Russel Wilson. However, Seattle could be without a healthy Chris Carson on Thursday night. This bodes well for the Rams chances at forcing the Seahawks into a more one-dimensional form of offense on this short week.
Stay balanced on offense
Los Angeles Rams fans all know the capabilities of this passing offense. Understandably, they want to see Stafford throw the ball as much as possible. However, it will be important to stay creative in the run game in order to open up the right opportunities.
It could be argued that the Rams got away from the run game against the Cardinals too early. After the Sony Michel fumble, McVay called seven straight passes. This is despite the fact that Darrell Henderson was having a very good game up to that point.
Injuries to the running back position have certainly led to modifications in the typical game plan since the offseason. However, the Rams offensive line has exceeded expectations in the run game so far. Staying multidimensional and unpredictable should lead to great success against a lackluster Seattle defense.
Stay error free on Special Teams
Other than an “execution error,” on the Nick Scott play against the Colts, the Rams, special teams have done a good job at staying error free and limiting the big play.
Johnny Hekker’s regression seems to have come to a halt and Matt Gay has become a consistent option in the kicking game for the Rams outside of the miss last week. In order to bury to loss against the Cardinals, it will be important to stay on the same trajectory in order to help the team do their job in the other phases of the game.
It can be extremely important for a defense trying to find its footing to have a consistent special teams unit. This helps give defenses long fields to work with and offenses bigger cushions. The same will hold true in Thursday’s game against the Seahawks.
Block out the noise
Going into a Thursday night game off a loss is typically not the way you draw it up as a head coach or a player. However, it may serve as motivation under the right context. There were plenty of reactions to the Los Angeles Rams’ loss to the Cardinals from fans. The players will know that they didn’t play their best.
With that said, having a short week gives Rams players and coaches no choice but to put that game behind them as soon as possible. What better way to do that then to go shut down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Seattle?