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Are the talented Los Angeles Rams suddenly in freefall? – NFL Spin Zone


Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams walks off the field following the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 28, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
After an impressive start, the Los Angeles Rams’ fortunes in 2021 have taken a turn for the worst. Can Sean McVay’s team get back on track?
Arguably the biggest trade in the National Football League this season saw a pair of franchises switch quarterbacks who were once the first overall pick in their respective drafts. There were draft choices involved but the focus was on Matthew Stafford (Class of 2009) making his way to Los Angeles and Jared Goff (Class of 2016) heading to the Motor City.
The Rams won seven of their first eight games and Stafford led an attack that was among the best in the league. But no sooner than you could say SoFi Stadium and Sean McVay’s club is immersed in a three-game losing streak. The team comes off a 36-28 setback at Lambeau Field to the NFC North-leading Packers.
The Rams have committed seven turnovers in their last three outings, six of those by Stafford. And three of his five interceptions over that stretch have been returned for touchdowns.
But perhaps this three-game slide is just as much of a product of the Los Angeles Rams defense as it is its veteran signal-caller. Could Stafford be pressing a bit because the team has not been as stout on defense as last year’s unit? Under coordinator Brandon Staley, the Rams allowed the fewest total yards and passing yards in the NFL, were third vs. the run, and gave up a league-low 296 points.
Staley is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Could his departure be more of a factor than the team anticipated?  Yes, the Rams still have perennial All-Pro Aaron Donald up front. But the secondary is missing a pair of quality performers in John Johnson III and Troy Hill. And defensive tackle Michael Brockers was dealt to the Detroit Lions.
On a Monday night at San Francisco, Donald and company were pushed around by the 49ers’ offensive front. In that 31-10 loss, McVay’s team had the ball for just 20:57. In the loss to the Packers, Los Angeles’ time of possession was just 20:20.
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The Los Angeles Rams can get back on track with a win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. But McVay’s club then plays three of its next four games on the road, starting with a Monday night trip to Arizona (Week 14) and then later to Minnesota (Week 16) and Baltimore (Week 17), respectively, before their rematch with the 49ers. That’s a rugged stretch for a team not playing its best football at the moment. And that’s in regards to more than just the quarterback.
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