- Rams lose to Jets even though they were 17-point favorites
- Are they still a top-ten contender for the Super Bowl?
- We examine whether this upset exposed any issues
It was the biggest shocker of the NFL season.
The Los Angeles Rams were outplayed and outcoached in an embarrassing 23-20 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. The Rams (9-5) are now out of first place in the NFC West as the Seattle Seahawks (10-4) take over the top spot.
The Rams have fallen back on the board and their Super Bowl odds put them as the sixth favorite team to win the Super Bowl, following the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Seahawks.
Going into Week 15, the Rams had the fourth-shortest odds at +1000. But Buffalo is on the rise up the board, as are the Seahawks.
2021 Super Bowl Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+175|
|Green Bay Packers||+525|
|New Orleans Saints||+850|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1400|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1400|
Odds taken Dec. 20 at DraftKings
Rams coach Sean McVay said before the game he wasn’t worried about a letdown going against the winless Jets, citing the team’s maturity. He now will face questions about whether he had his team prepared.
There are other concerning signs. The Rams offense misfired and looked disinterested. The Rams fell behind by 17 points early in the third quarter and couldn’t recover. More important they lost a chance to clinch a playoff spot while the Seahawks were beating a Washington Football Team 20-15.
? UPSET ALERT ?
The 0-13 Jets enter the 4th quarter with a 23-10 lead over the Rams pic.twitter.com/67s1yGdjUx
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 20, 2020
The Rams were in a position to tie the score with a field goal or take the lead with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but safety Marcus Maye broke up a fourth-down pass from Jared Goff that was intended for tight end Gerald Everett.
The Rams have no choice. They must regroup and travel to Seattle in Week 16 to face a Seahawks team that they defeated in Week 10. But it’s going to be hard to forget this loss. After all, consider this: The Jets had not won a game since Week 17 in 2019. The 13-game losing streak was the longest in team history.
Goff Was Off
It was an uneven performance from QB Jared Goff, who completed 22 of 34 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, completed 22 of 31 passes for 207 yards, one TD and zero interceptions. Goff is the better QB, but he really wasn’t on this day.
A Rams victory would have secured a playoff berth. Instead, they must wait until next week to clinch a spot in the postseason.
The Rams offense was flat and the special teams committed a costly turnover in the second quarter. There were few excuses. The Rams were well-rested. They had 10 days to prepare for the previously winless Jets (1-13).
#Rams coach Sean McVay on the shocking loss to the winless #Jets: “It’s going to be embarrassing. I’m sick to my stomach. It was very humbling. But we’re going to move forward.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 21, 2020
A lack of consistency is a troubling trend for the Rams, whose offense was flat in the first half. The Rams offense produced only 97 yards, including 26 rushing yards, and was 0-for-7 on third down, while falling behind 13-3.
There is a lack of consistency in special teams too. In the second quarter, the Jets blocked Johnny Hekker punt and converted the takeaway into a 39-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
The #Jets in the first half vs. the #Rams…
– Scored a TD
– Kicked a FG
– Blocked a punt
– Picked off Jared Goff
– Kicked another FG
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 20, 2020
Jets Looked Doomed
Going into the game, the Jets defense was a mess, having allowed 286.8 passing yards per game, which ranked 31st in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Rams led the NFL in total defense (285.9 yards per game) going into the game. This defeat should give bettors pause to put their money on Goff and the Rams now.
After the Rams made easy work of the New England Patriots last Thursday, winning 24-3, all signs were pointing in the right direction for the Rams. Now red flags are being raised. Teams should be building momentum for the playoffs, and the Rams just stubbed their big toe in a big way. How they recover next week will go a long way to determining whether their stock will rise again.