The Rams are two video games underneath .500 for the primary time underneath coach Sean McVay and the 5-3 Chargers have some proving to do with a street recreation on the San Francisco 49ers subsequent on the agenda. Rams beat author Gary Klein and Chargers beat author Jeff Miller handle followers’ considerations and questions heading into Week 10:
If you needed to choose a coach right now in your staff between Chargers coach Brandon Staley and Rams coach Sean McVay, whom would you choose and why?
Vic Turner, Los Angeles
Klein: That’s not a really robust query: Sean McVay. In his first 5 seasons, he led the Rams to 2 Super Bowl appearances, and he gained certainly one of them. The Rams are undoubtedly struggling this season, however McVay is confirmed. Staley, who benefited from being related to McVay, might become a superb coach. But at this level, he has but to steer a staff to the playoffs.
Miller: McVay can be the plain option to me simply given the success he’s had with the Rams. Gary famous every part his groups have achieved in a short while. It’s too quickly with Staley to know what sort of a head-coaching profession he’s going to have within the NFL. I’d go together with the confirmed commodity.
Do you imagine this can be Sean McVay’s final yr as a result of he goes to TV or will he keep for a rebuild?
Brian Grossman, Twentynine Palm
Klein: This won’t be Sean McVay’s final yr. As lengthy as Matthew Stafford is taking part in for the Rams, McVay would be the coach.
How can they cease Christian McCaffrey from setting an NFL single-game dashing file? They are tender on the perimeters and weak up the center. The protection has been horrible at tackling for at the least the final 10 years, but Staley has achieved nothing to handle this problem. This will present whether or not Staley has defensive thoughts or a nasty one.
Harvey Smith, Dayton, Nev.
Miller: Believe it or not, there are three groups — Bears, Lions, Texans — which have been worse towards the run than the Chargers this season. Those groups are a mixed 6-18-1. The most evident problem the Chargers have with their dashing protection is on the sting reverse Khalil Mack. They have been brutally dangerous setting the sting over there and that has led to a number of large performs. Not having Joey Bosa hasn’t helped, however the gamers they’ve been placing in there are merely not performing. I might anticipate Christian McCaffrey to have a giant day Sunday.
With all of the accidents mounting (particularly on offense), after which not making a transfer on the deadline, is Odell Beckham Jr. a risk for the Chargers? With [Chargers GM Tom] Telesco’s commerce resumé, I wasn’t anticipating something, however thought possibly he might make a signing? I get [the salary] cap is a serious problem, however it’s for the Rams, too (who’ve additionally been linked to OBJ)?
Dan Lundean, Hudson, Wisc.
Miller: I don’t assume the Chargers can be in on Odell Beckham Jr. as a result of they’re anticipating Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to return within the coming weeks. It’s nonetheless unclear how quickly Beckham can be recreation prepared.
The Rams must get Akers “integrated” into the run recreation in a short time! Otherwise, they are going to see their season slipping away in a short time, if it already hasn’t. Can they? There must be some form of a run recreation!
George Athans, Woodland Hills
Klein: Cam Akers returned from his two-game exile and gained three yards in 5 carries towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So it stays to be seen how massive of a task he can have transferring ahead. Coach Sean McVay mentioned Wednesday that rookie working again Kyren Williams could possibly be activated to the roster from injured reserve this Sunday towards the Arizona Cardinals.
Will the Chargers do something to construct a fan base in SoCal?
Brian Grossman, Twentynine Palm
Miller: The Chargers have a fan base in SoCal. Their base in L.A. will proceed to develop the longer they’re right here. The NFL left L.A. for 20 years after which got here again with two groups when most soccer followers right here weren’t precisely clamoring for one. This stuff takes time. The Chargers had a good turnout of followers Sunday in Atlanta. That’s one thing you wouldn’t have seen in 2017, their first yr in L.A.
No deep passes even tried Sunday! Not even with Van Jefferson again. Is that an admission (or worry) that the road can’t maintain up lengthy sufficient for even one try? McVay was outcoached!
George Athans, Woodland Hills
Klein: The Rams have accomplished just one lengthy cross this season, a pleasant throw from Matthew Stafford to second-year professional Tutu Atwell towards the Dallas Cowboys. But that’s it. Atwell, a second-round draft choose in 2021, was inactive for the second time this season towards the Buccaneers. Van Jefferson got here off injured reserve two weeks in the past however didn’t get a goal towards the San Francisco 49ers. He was focused a number of occasions towards the Buccaneers however had no catches. I’m undecided you’ll be able to say McVay bought outcoached towards the Buccaneers as a lot as he bought out-Bradyed by one of many best gamers in NFL historical past.
How large of a task does the Rams’ offseason actions play this season? The dialogue of McVay being a commentator, his wedding ceremony, Aaron Donald’s contract, Stafford’s advertisements, and so on. These are all wonderful issues on their very own and effectively deserved and earned for the whole group. But do you assume the cumulative impact distracted the Rams from preparing for this season?
Andy Lieber, Potomac, Md.
Klein: No, I don’t assume any of these issues have been distractions that affected the Rams’ readiness for this season. I do assume that the bodily and psychological toll it takes to win a Super Bowl — and the brief turnaround that follows due to the success — contributes to why no staff has repeated as champion because the 2004 season.
How has [Joe] Lombardi made Justin Herbert look worse on this, his third yr, in comparison with his first two years? Or is it that Keenan [Allen], plus Mike [Williams] are such weapons that the drop-off in expertise is that noticeable?
Marty Schmidt, San Diego
Miller: Keenan Allen has performed 45 snaps this season. Through eight video games final yr, he had 57 receptions for 600 yards. His absence has been monumental, after which some, by way of impacting Herbert’s efficiency. Herbert additionally has needed to cope with a big harm for the primary time in his NFL profession. If something, that harm and his teammates are making him look worse, not offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
Why did the Rams waste a second-round draft choose on Tutu Atwell? I believe I’ve a greater likelihood of creating an impression than that man does. … Would have been good to draft an offensive lineman with that choose.
Brian Haueter, California
Klein: Sean McVay clearly needed a chunk for the offense that was exterior the field. And the Rams seemingly take pleasure in demonstrating that they will take ignored gamers and develop them. But the choice of the speedy however diminutive Atwell shocked many. Atwell couldn’t crack the receiver rotation as a rookie and suffered a season-ending shoulder harm whereas returning a kick. He has not been capable of beat out Brandon Powell as a kick returner and he has just one catch in two seasons. In hindsight, after all, the Rams would have been higher off deciding on a lineman.
Why didn’t Cooper Kupp reduce inside and struggle for the primary down on that jet sweep on the Rams’ final drive? It’s the primary psychological error I’ve seen him make. A primary down wins the sport, and by chopping inside, you keep inbounds and get an opportunity at first down.
Phil Dunn, Sacramento
Klein: I wouldn’t classify Kupp’s determination as a psychological error. He bought across the finish for 5 yards however didn’t need to flip upfield and danger being knocked out of bounds, which might have stopped the clock. And to chop again in that scenario, whereas going full velocity throughout the width of the sphere, and requiring a tough plant on an injured proper ankle, in all probability in that second didn’t appear possible.
Can the Chargers set up a run recreation towards the 49ers?
George Morton, San Diego
Miller: I doubt it. They haven’t been capable of run constantly towards any staff aside from Cleveland to this point, and the 49ers rank No. 1 within the NFL versus the run. This figures to be one other recreation the place Austin Ekeler’s largest impression will come extra as a receiver than a runner.
It’s onerous to assume that the Rams, since they misplaced so many key gamers from the Super Bowl staff, wouldn’t know they might not contend with out them. Was this a throw-away season? How do groups like Ok.C. Chiefs maintain their stars ?
Steven Katz, Los Angeles
Klein: The Rams stored their stars. They signed quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive lineman Aaron Donald to extensions and cornerback Jalen Ramsey nonetheless underneath contract. They traded Robert Woods for financial causes and thought Allen Robinson can be an improve in some respects. The identical with the youthful Joe Noteboom taking on at left sort out for retiring Andrew Whitworth. No one regarded this as a “throw-away” season earlier than it started. It stays to be seen if it seems that method.