The Rams’ new stadium had seen only one home loss heading into Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Jets. The stadium has been a great place for Rams players to be this season. They surely felt at home in the new pad and many believed that the one loss at home (to the 49ers) was just a fluke game, where Jared Goff turned the ball over way too many times. The Rams had a chance to finish the year 7-1 at home but failed to do that by overlooking possibly the hungriest team in the league.
Second loss in Rams’ New Stadium
The credit that the Jets deserve will not go unaccounted for over here. Frank Bush and Adam Gase clearly had this team prepared to execute a gameplan that the Rams had no response to and no counters for. The Jets rarely blitzed from man coverage, rather relying on getting pressure from their front four and zone blitzes. Quinnen Williams is turning into a monster in this league, and he was having his way with Austin Blythe for three quarters (Williams missed the fourth quarter with a head injury).
When Williams WAS on the field at the Rams’ new stadium, he was a man possessed. Constantly rerouting running backs and blowing up plays in the backfield, the second year powerhouse out of Alabama ended his game early with four tackles, one for a loss and a sack. As mentioned before, however, those numbers don’t account for the times that he was meeting a running back in the backfield or shedding a block to bring the back down from behind for a short loss. Once again, Williams is the real deal.
How Did This Happen?
I touched earlier on the fact that the Rams may have overlooked this team, and that would seem to be the easy answer. Coming off an embarrassing 40-3 loss to Seattle, and coming into the game as one of the biggest underdogs of the season, it was a perfect storm to create a motivated team. Bush saw the previous losses of the Rams and made a great game-plan. Most people have been blitzing Goff in order to get him flustered and the Rams have been practicing against that stuff for weeks. What they have not been practicing against are teams that are sitting 6-8 guys in coverage almost every play.
Due to the Rams not necessarily practicing against this type of defense, it put LA’s head coach Sean McVay in a bad position from the coin toss. All of the Rams’ plays are designed to attack the Jets’ blitzing defense, and why wouldn’t they have been? Even after firing Gregg Williams, the Jets are the fourth-most blitz-happy team in the NFL.
Yes, having only one game under Bush is a small sample to really know if the blitzes were going to come down, so it was hard to prepare for either kind of scheme. Going into a game and seeing new things is one thing. However, it is how you react that will determine the outcome of the game. Just like most times that the Rams have started slow, the adjustments didn’t come until halftime.
Where To Go From Here?
The good news for the Rams, if there is any, is that they finally got some more experience coming back late in a game. They have not made a double-digit comeback like this since the Buffalo game in week three (also a Rams loss). Even though they didn’t come away with the win, the Rams were just given the biggest motivation that any team has received this season. This humbling situation needs to be just that, in order to let the experience help the team grow. If not, and it divides the team, then LA is in serious trouble.
Thanks for reading my article on the Jets beating LA in the Rams’ new stadium.
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