The Los Angeles Rams have lost two games in a row after an impressive 11-1 start, and head coach Sean McVay believes quarterback Jared Goff needs to make better decisions entering the final push of the season.
"He did a good job continuing to compete ... and that's what you love about Jared. But there's some things that we all got to be better. He's got to make better decisions, especially when we end up falling out underneath the center on 3rd-and-1. You know, sometimes the only play is to just eat it and take that sack ... but in trying to make plays, we learn from all of our mistakes, and that's Rams coaches alike, but there's certainly some things we can look at, and we got to be better."
Goff finished 33-of-54 for 339 yards, but he accounted for zero touchdowns. Todd Gurley found the end zone twice but had just 12 carries as the Rams were forced into comeback mode after they were outscored 17-0 during the third quarter.
The running back was also sidelined by a knee injury for a stretch.
Bergman added more context to Goff's recent struggles, pointing out the quarterback "has thrown more picks in the three games since L.A.'s bye (7) than in his 11 prior games (6). Goff missed many open receivers Sunday, especially in the red zone, and made a critical error in the third quarter when he threw a sloppy pick after fumbling the snap and nearly falling on the ball."
Thanks in part to those issues, a first-round bye is no longer a sure thing for Los Angeles. It is just one game ahead of the Chicago Bears with two games remaining, and the NFC North champions have the tiebreaker thanks to a head-to-head victory in Week 14.
Goff and the offense scored a mere six points in that loss and looked quite vulnerable after dominating games throughout the initial portion of the season.
Los Angeles is missing Cooper Kupp because of a torn ACL, which has allowed defenses to put additional attention toward Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. There was a time when it was almost impossible to stop this offense with Gurley attracting defenders to the box and those three receivers taking advantage of openings downfield.
Fortunately for the Rams, they finish with the 3-11 Arizona Cardinals and 4-10 San Francisco 49ers and still control their own destiny for a bye. As long as Goff makes the decisions his coach is looking for, his team should be hosting a divisional round playoff game.