CHICAGO — Remember how much fun that Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Rams shootout was? Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff one-upping each other for 60 minutes?
Yeah, this was the opposite of that.
Goff threw four interceptions and Mitchell Trubisky had three Sunday night, as what was expected to be the game of the week turned out to be a dud. Trubisky did manage to throw one touchdown, taking advantage of Matt Nagy’s trickery on a 2-yard throw to offensive lineman Bradley Sowell, and the Chicago Bears’ defense did the rest in the 15-6 victory.
The loss prevented the Rams from clinching a first-round bye and, worse, dropped them behind the New Orleans Saints for the inside track to home-field advantage.
It’s hard to learn much from a game like this, but we’ll give it a go:
1. Bear Down, indeed
In addition to the four picks, Chicago’s defense sacked Goff three times – including once in the end zone for a safety – and Khalil Mack forced a fumble that the Rams were able to recover.
In short, this unit is every bit the nightmare it's advertised to be.
The Rams came in averaging 439.9 yards per game and 6.71 yards per play. They finished Sunday with 214 yards and gained just 3.5 yards per play.
2. You have Todd Gurley … use him
Goff never looked comfortable – a wind chill that made it feel like it was in the teens might have had something to do with that – but the Rams’ biggest failing was not involving Gurley more.
Sean McVay went to college in Ohio. He better than anyone ought to know that power running games are made for nights like Sunday. Yet after three quarters, Gurley had 6 yards on six carries.
That is not a misprint. The second-leading rusher in the NFL had touched the ball six times. And gained 6 yards.
The Rams did a better job in the fourth quarter, using Gurley as both a runner and a receiver. Still, he finished with just 58 yards from scrimmage. That’s inexcusable — and can’t be repeated should the Rams find themselves facing Chicago again come January.
3. Razzle dazzle
By now, it shouldn’t be a surprise when Matt Nagy gets creative with the play-calling.
With a third-and-goal at the Rams' 2, the Bears had defensive tackle Akiem Hicks in the backfield and offensive lineman Bradley Sowell positioned as an eligible receiver. Trubisky faked the handoff to Hicks but then tossed the ball to Sowell for the touchdown.
Sowell made the most of his rare turn as a receiver, jiggling, err, dancing in the end zone in one of the highlights of the night.
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