Ps 5 – Rams’ vaunted protection will get shoved out of the playoffs – Orange County Register
The Rams misplaced this one final week, someplace inside Aaron Donald’s ribcage.
Additionally they misplaced it on Nov. 23 and Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, the times after they performed winnable video games and misplaced them. Consequently they’d to purchase a ticket to Aaron Rodgers’ romper room. Most of these tickets are one-way.
As sort out Andrew Whitworth stated, decrease seeds hardly ever bloom in January. Nor does Lambeau Area need to be snowbound to overwhelm all guests. The Rams found simply how dominant Inexperienced Bay may be on this 32-18 NFC Divisional Playoff loss, they usually additionally realized one other playoff reality. If there’s a gap in your sport, the postseason will shine a light-weight proper by way of it.
Donald couldn’t discover a appropriate cape on Saturday. He tried, in fact, however he was already confronting a topnotch offensive line. His most seen play got here when he seized the face masks of sort out Elgton Jenkins throughout a post-play rhubarb. That arrange the Packers on the Rams’ 21. He had one assisted sort out and no primaries. He neared Rodgers sometimes however by no means obtained him.
No different Ram did both, and the one one who even hit Rodgers was Ogbonia Okoronkwo. By then the Packers had already uncovered the Rams’ rush protection as an space of want in 2021.
In yards allowed per carry, Los Angeles ranked 16th within the league. The Rams gave up 4 runs of 40 or extra yards. Solely three golf equipment gave up extra.
They obtained to halftime down solely 19-10, which meant they’d an opportunity with an ultra-sharp Jared Goff. However Aaron Jones opened the second half with a 60-yard burst up the center, on the lookout for all of the world like Travis Williams within the “Run To Win” playoff sport in 1967, when the Packers mashed the favored Rams, 28-7. Right here, the Packers wound up with 188 yards web dashing, 12 first downs on the bottom, and 36 working performs general.
It’s tough to lose any sport with such numbers. On a day when Rams’ followers ought to have needed Goff to have the ball, he obtained solely 50 snaps, to Inexperienced Bay’s 72.
“We could have tackled better, could have played better,” Michael Brockers stated. “They exploited us on some plays. They just make the field super big and they make you defend every inch of it.”
The Packers additionally punished the Rams on first and second downs. Their first 5 third-down performs required the Packers to achieve one, one, two, one and two yards. Two of these turned touchdowns. The one third-and-10 got here on the very finish of the primary half, when Mason Crosby booted a subject aim after Troy Hill and John Johnson botched interception probabilities.
A type of third downs got here from the Rams’ one-yard-line. Packers coach Matt LaFleur ran Davante Adams in movement to the left, bringing Jalen Ramsey with him, then had Adams sprint again from whence it got here. Ramsey needed to make a detour round Rams’ site visitors to search out Adams, and Nick Scott didn’t change off in time to cowl for him, a failure that Ramsey made certain everybody seen.
However in reality the Rams have been gashed within the run sport with out the Full Donald at instances. They couldn’t make Rodgers one-dimensional, but when that had been straightforward, the Packers wouldn’t have received eight of 9 down the stretch to earn homefield and the first-round bye.
“It was just the perfect storm,” Johnson stated. “It’s always tough to go on the road and execute, and they had a bye, and they had a plan and it worked out. No matter what he (Rodgers) saw, no matter what defense we were in, he would do the opposite.”
In the meantime, the Rams had 17 first downs in these 50 performs and Goff hit 21 of 27 passes. He was terrific when Sean McVay goosed the tempo of the sport, and Cam Akers continued his ascent with a TD run and a pleasant hook-and-ladder two-point conversion after Van Jefferson had caught Goff’s move.
However after the Rams compelled back-to-back punts, Goff took a sack from UCLA alum Kenny Clark that compelled a third-and-16. The Rams, down 25-18 on the time, ran what McVay referred to as a “stupid” display screen to Jefferson that solely gained 5 yards and didn’t enable an inexpensive fourth-down attempt.
When Rodgers obtained it again, he lastly went deep to Allen Lazard, who left the Rams’ safeties behind for the clinching 58-yard landing. It was nifty stuff, but it surely’s laborious to cease if you’re enjoying in your heels.
“Rodgers is in such command, it’s like slow motion,” McVay stated. “He’s playing at an unbelievable level.”
The Rams are no less than a ground beneath that stage, and the elevator is crowded.