4:05 p.m. ET
24 degrees, overcast, snow flurries
Key Decision #1: (LAR ball, leading 6-3 / fourth-and-inches, DEN 10 / 11:02 Q2)
Sean McVay decides to go for it, even though a Denver stop would get a loud home crowd even more encouraged. RB Todd Gurley takes it in for a TD and a 13-3 lead. Although Denver made the score close at the end, the Rams would never be headed after this score.
· McVay is starting to become the best in league (after Bill Belichick) in knowing how to manage a lead — when to step on the gas offensively and when to go into a four-minute offense
· One thing that McVay does as well as any HC in the lead – he knows how to use the play clock as a weapon; he knows how to use it to adjust the offensive tempo. He gets plays in faster than virtually anyone else in the league, which leaves plenty of time to make adjustments in the headset and at the line.
· DEN’s offensive play-calling asks too much of Case Keenum; he simply isn’t athletic enough to have the offense run through him – they need to be much more patient with their running game. From a personnel standpoint, they should utilize FB Andy Janovich more – he is one of the more athletic fullbacks in the league outside of the 49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk.
· LAR LB Cory Littleton is a comer; a good young player.
· As well as LAR played, the absence of CB Aqib Talib is having an effect. His replacement, Troy Hill, allowed three deep balls in this game.
· The LAR offense is so good right now that they really don’t need much play variety – their execution and talent is so good that they can run the same plays over and over until someone stops them.
· LAR has been fortunate; they had an injury scare with WR Cooper Kupp, but he miraculously returned to the game. Their offensive unit has enjoyed remarkable health thus far.