Rams see need to boost their run game and slow opponents’ attack – Orange County Register

THOUSAND OAKS — The Rams saw too much of Washington’s run game and not enough of their own.

There’s no doubt about the first part. Washington ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns in their victory over the Rams on Sunday. The defensive breakdown seemed startling for a Rams front seven that dominated a week earlier and should have been better with the return of Aaron Donald.

“As the game progressed, I thought we settled in,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday. “But credit to Washington. I thought they did a nice job with some of the things that were running schematically, and they made those plays.”

Defensive adjustments will be necessary, particularly since the Rams face San Francisco on Thursday, and 49ers running back Carlos Hyde rushed for 124 yards against a stout Seattle defense on Sunday.

Then there’s the Rams’ offense, which felt disjointed for much of Sunday’s game. Penalties and mistakes didn’t help, but McVay, the Rams’ play-caller, also seemed a bit out of rhythm. The Rams called 30 pass plays and 18 run plays, compared to a week earlier, when they passed 34 times and ran 30 times.

The early-game situation didn’t help. The Rams trailed 13-0 early in the second quarter and had run only 10 offensive plays, so McVay indicated he over-relied on the pass game to try to catch up quickly.

“I just thought there were some uncharacteristic decisions and maybe some indecisiveness on my part,” McVay said. “When you go into a game, you always envision how you want to put your players in good spots, and I didn’t necessary follow through on that plan, based on the way things played out.”

Rams running back Todd Gurley had only nine carries for 47 yards in the first three quarters Sunday, but even though the Rams were trailing, McVay turned to Gurley in the fourth quarter. Gurley had seven carries for 41 yards as part of a 14-play drive that temporarily tied the game at 20-20.

Even before the second-quarter deficit, the Rams seemed hesitant to go to Gurley, as he had only two carries on their first nine plays. It probably didn’t help Gurley’s early-game momentum that he fumbled on the Rams’ 10th play, an error that led to a field goal and a 13-0 Washington lead.

Still, McVay was highly self-critical, immediately after the game and on Monday.

“We always talk about coachability,” McVay said, “and certainly if I’m not being coachable or being critical of myself when I’m not doing the things I need to, in order…

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