The LA Rams took another discouraging step back in Week 16 action after falling to the Seattle Seahawks. The loss puts the Rams‘ playoff hopes on the line in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Their path toward the postseason may have just taken a crushing blow for Sean McVay and his team.
The Rams continue to fall south
With the opportunity to secure a playoff berth, the LA Rams stumbled for the second consecutive week.
LA struggled to get any offensive fluidity against their division rival Seattle Seahawks, falling to a 20-9. The Rams did string together a statistically balanced game with 334 total offensive yards with 116 rushing yards but converted that into three field goals.
They failed to put points on the board with their pair of red-zone trips and averaged only 4.5 yards per play. Despite the Rams defense keeping Russell Wilson in check for most of the game, the tale of the tape was Seattle’s secondary and pass rush being the difference in the second half limiting LA to only a field goal.
Beyond suffering another disappointing loss, the Rams’ playoff hopes may have just taken a crushing blow ahead of Week 17 action.
Jared Goff undergoes thumb surgery, playoff return possible
The Rams have squandered back-to-back opportunities to capture a playoff berth, which that path may have become much more difficult.
During the Week 16 loss to the Seahawks, quarterback Jared Goff injured his right thumb in the final seconds of the third quarter. He remained in the game after snapping it back into place.
However, LA’s worst fears with the situation came to light as Goff suffered a broken thumb that received surgery on Monday that Sean McVay confirmed, according to Rams’ radio play-by-play voice J.B. Long.
Although Goff has struggled to play with consistency this season, he has brought much stability under center for the franchise. In each of the last four seasons, the Rams have held a winning record while remaining among the league’s most productive offenses.
Goff has had some notable struggles in the 2020 season as he’s had questionable decision-making at times, leading to 13 interceptions while he’s fumbled seven times. He has thrown an interception 10 times this season while holding a passer rating below 80 on six occasions.
The entire situation places the Rams in a tough spot in the days ahead of the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
John Wolford will step in
The worst possible outcome concerning Jared Goff has come to fruition, which places all the focus on their quarterback situation.
Backup John Wolford will get the call for what will be his first official NFL action. Wolford joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and has only played in the preseason. The former Wake Forest product is a mobile quarterback that saw him pile up 683 rushing yards in his senior campaign in 2017.
Sean McVay will likely lean on the running game to take some pressure off Wolford against the Cardinals. However, that may be a difficult task with rookie running back Cam Akers still on the mend from a high ankle sprain that he suffered against the New York Jets in Week 15.
Meanwhile, Darryl Henderson left Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks with a left ankle injury. There isn’t any clarity if that will keep Henderson out of action for the season finale.
The Rams have a steep challenge ahead against the Cardinals, who are looking to shake off a disappointing Week 16 loss. If LA were to lose Arizona, and the Chicago Bears were to beat the Green Bay Packers, the Rams could be on the outside looking in for the playoff picture. They could also reach the playoffs simply through the Bears losing to the Packers.
If LA can reach the playoffs, Goff could be back in the fold to push them forward. It all depends on Wolford guiding the Rams toward a win in the season finale against another playoff hopeful team.