There has been a lot said about Sean McVay during this trying season for the Los Angeles Rams.
He doesn’t get his young receivers involved enough.
He shows an unwillingness to stick to the ground game.
McVay is only competent with superstars at his disposal.
Overrated Sean McVay has been exposed.
I’ve had my fair share of gripes with McVay and his play calling. What LA fans haven’t this season? I even let it rip following Monday night’s game against the Packers in which the Rams gained only 156 against a bad defense. By some Christmas miracle sent from the heavens, the head coach finally called his best game of the year, without his superstars to “carry him” no less.
Playing Denver is a remedy for any team’s ills. The Rams were already knocked out of playoff contention heading into this matchup. Yet you wouldn’t have known it after how they stuck it to the hapless Broncos on Sunday. Oh jeez, that’s dangerous. This is what LA did to their elite defense (LOL) on their first eight drives:
McVay did that to a top 3 defense with Baker Mayfield at QB.
He might not be having the greatest year right now, Sean McVay is still Sean McVay. Don’t get it twisted. https://t.co/GqNWH5s12d
— eli ✊ (@solemnsoto) December 26, 2022
That’s not all either. In the first half of the game, the Rams did something they had never done before with McVay at the helm.
In the first half, the Rams scored touchdowns on four consecutive drives for the first time under Head Coach Sean McVay. The Rams 31 points in the first half is the most in a first half by the Rams since Week 17 of the 2018 season.#LARvDEN pic.twitter.com/s6WVjv7Gn4
— Los Angeles Rams PR (@TheLARamsPR) December 25, 2022
LA hasn’t been the success fans have grown accustomed to in ’22 but that doesn’t mean McVay himself has fallen off a cliff. Great coaches have down years, that is fairly common to see. Sean has lost most of his starters to the injury bug this season. That should n’t be an excuse for all his mistakes throughout the year. However, McVay’s team showed fight on a day that his opponent did n’t.
a Sean McVay coached 4-10 team is better than any other 4-10 if that makes any sense
— Connor Strong (@connor___strong) December 25, 2022
While the Broncos should be grateful for the bleated Christmas present LA got them, this game was proof that Sean McVay still has it. Sunday’s game was the second time this month he committed to the ground game where there were more rushing attempts than passing. Against Denver, LA ran the ball 36 times compared to 28 passes. The balance helped Baker Mayfield have his best game of the year by completing 24-of-28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns to Tyler Higbee. I guess having an innovative coach like McVay who believes in his QB has worked wonders for Mayfield’s career. Funny how those things work.
Baker was assisted by a quick passing game which made his life easy all afternoon. He didn’t get sacked either which for this O-line is another Christmas miracle to behold. Also making his life easier was the emergence of Cam Akers who had perhaps the best game of his NFL career by scoring three touchdowns and going for 118 yards on 23 carriers.
McVay has been criticized for either not giving Akers the ball enough or making him a workhorse back despite his struggles. The faith renewed in Cam has paid dividends the last four weeks. Prior to the loss in Kansas City, Akers had scored a lone touchdown and topped at least 50 yards twice. In the four games since, he has surpassed the 60-yard mark three times, scoring six touchdowns on the ground in that span. He’s evolved into one of the league’s more reliable backs in a move that I doubt many saw coming.
So I guess we’re not gonna talk about this…
Since Week 11 Cam Akers :
(min 20 carries)
Yards after contact per attempt – 22nd
Missed tackles forced – 5th
(Immediately ahead of Nick Chubb)
PFF’s elusive rating – 7th
(Immediately ahead of Najee & Ekeler)
Okay. Okay. pic.twitter.com/c8zMcwnrUP
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) December 22, 2022
So all these talking heads and social media blowhards don’t know what they’re talking about. Let them blow their smoke as the Rams are still 5-10 without a playoff berth. Don’t let the challenging times distract you from the brilliance of Sean McVay. His team has shown fight in almost every game despite all the odds stacked against them.
With a shake-up on his coaching staff and better injury luck, who would doubt McVay as he works to return his Rams to dominance? A game like Sunday’s demolition is proof that Sean McVay magic remains alive and well.