The Los Angeles Rams cruised past opponents during the first eight weeks of the season, but in the last three games, they've fallen short to the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.
On Sunday, the Rams were defeated by the Packers 36-28 in a contest that the Rams fell behind early on in the first quarter and were forced to play catchup over the complexity of the entire game.
Here are five key takeaways from the Rams' Week 12 loss to the Packers:
1) Outside of Jalen Ramsey, the Rams corners were exploited
The Davante Adams vs. Jalen Ramsey matchup was one of the major headlines entering the game, but other members of the Packers wide receivers unit were so impactful that quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to distribute the ball away from Ramsey for the majority of the contest. Randall Cobb posted 95 yards on four receptions and a touchdown before exiting the game due to a groin injury. Marques Valdes-Scantling saw nine targets which he turned into four grabs and 50 yards. The inconsistency continued at the cornerback position for the Rams as Darious Williams and Robert Rochell were hit and miss all throughout the game.
2) The Packers tamed Cooper Kupp
Kupp was mainly a non-factor throughout most of this game. While he ended with a stat line that includes seven receptions for 96 yards which in theory is a productive outing by all accounts, the Packers refrained from allowing Kupp to break free on the big play. The majority of his yards came in the second half when the Packers held a commanding lead. Kupp received his first target of the game on the Rams' final drive of the first half. For the Rams' offense to truly get back on track, one aspect is peppering Kupp with targets from start to finish. Perhaps, Kupp's usage needs to come before the game reaches the halfway point.
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3) Van Jefferson is taking steps of growth
Jefferson has shown flashes of the kind of pass-catcher he can involve into this season and Sunday in Green Bay was just an extension of that potential. Jefferson's Week 12 outing saw him and Stafford connect on the deep ball, hauling in a 79-yard touchdown. On 3rd and 8 from inside Rams territory, Stafford found one-on-one coverage and heaved it up to Jefferson for the score. Jefferson figures to play a significant role as the WR3 for the Rams down the stretch run of the season alongside Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr.
4) The Packers followed the 49ers blueprint
Long drives, power running and targeting the middle of the field has proven to be the blueprint to take down the Rams. We saw the 49ers do this on Monday Night Football two weeks ago, continually running the ball and exploiting the Rams' struggles at inside linebacker. The Packers handed the ball to AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones 30 times in Week 12, continuing to force the Rams' defense on the heels. When not rushing the ball, Rodgers continually pushed the deep ball, targeting the Rams corners outside of Ramsey. When not throwing opposite of Ramsey, linebacker Troy Reeder was heavily targeted and Rodgers ultimately got the best of him. This formula on the Rams is out, and they must act fast to keep their slim division hopes alive.
5) It's time to worry about the Rams
Three straight losses, albeit against teams that currently hold playoff spots, but the Rams are struggling. Their weaknesses have been exploited, and Matthew Stafford has not been the same passer he was early on in the season. Even coming off the bye, the Rams looked outmatched against a Packers team that just played a grueling game against the Vikings in the week prior. Fortunately for the Rams, they get a get-right game against the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday, which should help put them back on track but ensuring they don't let their guard down will be critical. Ultimately, the Rams will go as far as Stafford takes them. He's thrown three pick-six interceptions and five total in the last three games. Cleaning up the turnovers is just the start of things Stafford must clean up down the back half of the Rams' schedule that includes a tough road the rest of the way.
More from Ram Digest:
- Rams Defense Falters Against Aaron Rodgers, Packers
- Rams Fail to Get Back on Track in Week 12 Loss to Packers, 36-28
- Rams at Packers Halftime Report
- Report: Rams QB Matthew Stafford is Dealing With Elbow Pain, Chronic Back Issue
- Rams at Packers Week 12 Closing Odds: Point Spread, Over/Under, Moneyline
- Packers RB Aaron Jones Will be Game-Time Decision vs. Rams
- Rams at Packers: Week 12 Predictions & Picks
- Rams' Final Injury Report for Week 12 vs. Packers
- Rams, NFL Reach Settlement With St. Louis Over L.A. Relocation Lawsuit
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