Sean McVay has Rams ship on the right course

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay speaks with reporters after practice during training camp. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

The Los Angeles Rams are the only undefeated team in the National Football League for a couple of reasons. First, you would have start with Rams head coach Sean McVay. In just a year and a half, McVay has turned the Rams from Lambs to looking every bit like Super Bowl contenders. The second reason is that the Rams offense is simply the best in the league when it comes to rushing the football (154.3 yards ) and in total offense (464.3 yards per game).

However, the road to the unrealistic goal of winning every single game is about to get harder for the Rams with contests against Green Bay (Oct. 28), New Orleans (Nov. 4), Seattle (Nov. 11), and Kansas City (Nov. 19) coming up. McVay is excited about the way his team is playing, but being undefeated at this juncture of the season is not a time for pats on the back. Being undefeated now does not mean to a hill of beans to McVay.

“No, it means that you feel good about being 6-0,” McVay said. “But, when you talk about it – we’ve talked about it – who was the last undefeated team last year? I don’t know. I just know that guys have played well enough to find a way to win in some tough atmospheres over the last couple weeks and it’s a long season. You’re six games into it – there’s still so much football left. The good teams continue to get better as the season progresses and that’s really what our focus and concentration is on.

“Can’t say enough about how resilient and what a great job guys have done finishing out games, finding a way to get wins. But, our focus and concentration is on, now, getting ready for a tough division opponent. They play tonight, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do and watch them and get that preparation started and find a way to get better this week and move forward accordingly.”

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp on his way to completing a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Photo by George Laase

The other two reasons that that Rams have won all their games so far this season is the elevated play of quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. Von Miller and the rest of the Denver Broncos saddle up defense learned that lesson Sunday when Gurley ran around and through them for 208 yards. How impressive was Gurley’s performance? It was pretty special considering that he achieved that feat on the road.

The last time the Rams had anyone go over the 200-yard rushing mark was 17 years ago when Marshall Faulk skipped and danced his way to 202 yards against the Carolina Panthers in 2001.

It’s not a coincidence that Gurley leads the league in rushing (623 yards), is tops in the NFL in scoring (70 points) and is better than anyone else making it into the endzone (11 touchdowns). Gurley has scored a touchdown at least once in his last nine regular-season games. In other words, Gurley is showing up and showing out for the Rams week in and week out. It’s kind of difficult not giving that kind of production some love or acknowledgment.

For McVay, that means bringing in the production totality of the entire team.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. The Rams defeated the Chargers by the score of 35-23. Photo by George Laase

“We’ve got to consistently put good performances together, but we’ve also got to focus on making sure that we’re getting better as the rest of the league is,” said McVay. “If we do that, we feel confident in the players that we do have and the coaches, but it’s really tough and we’ve got to do it one day at a time.”

McVay brought that kind of energy with him from Washington, D.C., leaving Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins in his rearview mirror.

The McVay magic started last season when the Rams went 11-5 and advanced to the second round of the NFC playoffs. Through the first six games of the 2018 season, McVay and the Rams have gone into overdrive with Los Angeles posting their perfect mark thus far.

“To be 6-0 in this league is really hard, but we want to focus on our process, our standard of performance and that’s focusing on getting better, and getting better as the season progresses.’ Nobody stops the season after six weeks,” McVay said. “If they did and they said this is when everything is finalized, then hey, we could maybe enjoy it and appreciate that. But, there’s a lot of football left. We’ve got to get better. Other teams are getting better. There’s a lot of different things that go on week in and week out. Really, the narrative is written every week.”

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1287 Articles
Dennis is a news and sports photojournalist. Dennis has covered and written on issues such as civil rights, education, politics, and social justice. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, and other media outlets. Dennis is currently the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. Dennis is an alum and graduate of Howard University.

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