Sunday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears was not only a game between two teams that held Super Bowl aspirations just last season but a conference game where the loser could most likely kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.
Thankfully for Rams fans, Los Angeles came out on top defeating Chicago 17-7 in a game that was dominated by the defense. Although the game took place during a sunny Los Angeles afternoon, no one told the quarterbacks as neither Jared Goff or Mitchell Trubisky threw for over 200 yards, and just by looking at the stat lines you would assume the game was played during a Chicago snowstorm.
Goff’s 11 completions for 173 yards also meant it was a rather slow day for Rams receivers as top wideout Cooper Kupp received just 3 targets, the lowest he all season. Kupp did rack up three receptions for 53 yards in the game, but Goff threw his way more times last week during his 0 reception performance than this week.
The last two weeks have seemed like a hangover for Kupp after his Week 8 performance that saw him go for more than double the receptions and four times as many yards then what he has amassed these last two weeks. It isn’t a coincidence Goff and the Rams offense has struggled during this two-week span as they try and keep their playoff chances alive.
Gurley was the one exception as the former offensive player of the year rushed for nearly 100 yards and looked as good this week as anytime since Week 1. However, if the Rams want to get back into the playoff picture they will need this kind of performance from Gurley more often in addition to Kupp being just as dynamic in the passing game.
Kupp is as important a piece on the Rams offense as anyone and if they want any chance next week against the Baltimore Ravens, who some are calling the best team in the league, they will need bigger performance out of Kupp. It is no secret that the Rams offense is not what it was last season, but last season’s offense was historic and it would be difficult for any team to try and repeat.
With the team’s biggest test of the season coming next week, it’s do or die time in Los Angeles. The Rams’ last few games will feature some of the leagues best like the Seahawks, Cowboys, and 49ers, all of whom are current playoff teams. These games will serve as a measuring stick as to whether the Rams are legit contenders or pretenders.
What we do know is that Kupp will need to be a big part of the Rams offense in those games if LA wants to keep their hopes alive.