The Los Angeles Rams lost on Saturday night, ending their storybook run to the playoffs and their season. While the Rams fell by 13 points, the game was very much within reach down the stretch. L.A. just could not pull it out, unable to get into the endzone. From that point on, the Rams had sealed their fate. However, it seemed that Rams head coach Sean McVay had sealed his fate much earlier in the game on Saturday night.
McVay, the youngest coach in the NFL and likely the NFL Coach of the Year, gave his star running back, Todd Gurley, just 14 carries on Saturday. Gurley was a big part of the plan in the passing game as well but totaled just four catches for 10 yards against the excellent screen defense of Atlanta. Meanwhile, arguably the best running back in the NFL averaged over 7.2 yards per carry and broke the 100-yard mark but rarely touched the ball on the ground.
Flashback – Eagles Game
When the Rams fell to the Eagles in week 14 of the regular season, McVay faced a very similar predicament. In a postgame press conference, the head coach took a lot of blame for his “stupid” decision. He also stated “that won’t happen again”, and he sure did not let it happen again the next few weeks. In weeks 15 and 16 of the regular season, he turned around and cut Gurley loose for six touchdowns and around 400 all-purpose yards.
So, at the end of an incredible rookie head coach season, it seems McVay made a lethal blunder. A workhorse on the field and in the film room, rest assured that the Rams head coach will be working all offseason to identify his mistakes and improve. All season it was clear that the Rams offense was not created for Jared Goff to throw the ball 45 times, yet McVay elected to go that way in the playoffs. A curious choice no doubt, the rookie head coach could be kicking himself for the entirety of his first full offseason.
A haunted Sean McVay may not be the worst thing for the Rams organization. However, it may just be the worst possible scenario for every single team that the Rams face next season. Note Gurley’s stats in the final two weeks of the regular season after the Eagles game:
Those stats occurred after McVay had only one week to dwell on his mistakes, now he has months. To the Rams upcoming opponents and the entire NFL community, look out for a haunted Sean McVay.