67 degrees / clear
Key Decision #1: (LAR trail 20-6 / 1st & 10 LAR 10 / 10:53 Q3)
- Even though Los Angeles played with key starters sitting out, this possession started as an opportunity to close this game to within one possession, and we believe the best way to build a winning culture is to win – even if nothing seemingly is at stake. At HCR, we feel that your culture always is at stake; there is no substitute for winning.
- Rams backup QB Sean Mannion started this game, and he does have some NFL experience. However, the Rams play calling went conservative here, and they went three and out. They punted to San Francisco, who promptly drove down the field for a TD behind QB Jimmy Garoppolo and a 27-6 lead. This effectively put the game out of reach.
- San Francisco continues to gain confidence with their new quarterback. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has his players, in our view, playing way over their head, and that is the mark of a good head coach. The 49ers continued to fly around this game. Their body language seemed as if they were impervious to mistakes. This will be an interesting team to watch develop in 2018.
- Admittedly, it is tough to grade the Rams Head Coach Sean McVay this low in a game that didn’t matter to him; particularly since he may be NFL Head Coach of the Year. But here at HCR, we simply are grading each particular game and whether the head coach did his best in giving his team a chance to win. After all, if this game didn’t matter to the Rams, they really could have chosen to empty the playbook. We do understand, however, that coaches going into the playoffs are reluctant to do this – they don’t want certain things on tape. Even so, they were so conservative on offense that it didn’t even give them much of a chance to see how QB Sean Mannion has developed. But alas, we are nitpicking. McVay has done a terrific job this season. But all we do here is grade one game at a time as well.