The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Chicago Bears 17-7, in a defensive onslaught that featured two of the top defensive presences in the NFL, Bears linebacker Khalil Mack and Rams defensive end Aaron Donald.
The Rams returned to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time in 35 days after 16,664 miles of travel. Coming into the NFC duel the Rams have shined under the bright lights of primetime football under Head Coach Sean McVay, winning five of its seven contests.
With newly acquired top cornerback Jalen Ramsey traded to LA nearly just over a month ago, the Rams came into the Sunday night game third in the NFC West with a 5-4 record. After reaching the Super Bowl last season the Rams are on the verge of missing the playoffs this season.
The game started off rough, with a Todd Gurley fumble on the first offensive possession of the game. The Rams defensive unit proved their toughness holding the Bears offense to a missed field goal and the following possession failed fourth down attempt. But Gurley’s big day was just coming to surface.
“What I loved the most about what (RB) Todd (Gurley II) did, is after we put the first carry on the ground, he didn’t flinch, he came back and had some good, tough, physical runs and made some good catches out of the backfield and he was a bigtime contributor tonight,” said Rams Head Coach Sean McVay.
The Rams put together a bounce-back drive with a total of 42 yards from Gurley on the possession leading to a Jared Goff interception by Roquan Smith in Bears territory. The Bears had two opportunities to put points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, but missed field goals by kicker Eddy Pineiro kept the score tied at zero.
The Rams were able to get on the board first with an always reliable 38-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal 30 seconds into the second quarter. And the momentum continued to keep rolling with Rams defensive back Troy Hill coming up with a huge defense stop with 5:23 left in the half intercepting Mitch Tribisky.
“(DB) Troy Hill’s interception was big. The thing that I thought was as big as anything is when offensively, when we turn it over the first two possessions – for the defense to be able to stand up and not let any points come off those turnovers was huge. Really, our defense was outstanding and that’s what we expect from them,” said McVay.
With 3:51 in the second quarter, Jared Goff hit his favorite target Cooper Kupp on a 51-yard strike at the Bears 1-yard line, setting up Todd Gurley punching in the football for the 10-0 lead with 3:28 to play in the first half.
At halftime, the Rams led the Bears 10-0 at halftime behind Todd Gurley’s 91 total offensive yards and touchdown. The Running back showed his display of being able to forget the fumble, and lead the way for his team.
“Yeah it felt good. I guess I felt like the old Todd, but it was cool. I’m just happy I was able to go out there and take advantage of my opportunities,” Gurley said in regards to getting his groove back.
The Bears came out of halftime with a stop on defense followed with a 12 play 80-yard drive finishing with a 14-yard touchdown reception by Tarik Cohen getting bringing Chicago right back in the contest.
After the Bears score, both offensive couldn’t generate any momentum leaving the game at a standstill with eight consecutive punts. A lull from the beginning of the second half until 3:31 left in the fourth quarter occurred until the Rams extended the lead with a Malcolm Brown 5-yard touchdown run.
With 3:24 left in the game, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy sent backup Quarterback Chase Daniels in place of Mitch Trubisky to attempt a game winning drive due to a Trubisky hip injury. The switch was controversial and with the game on the line the Rams defense proved to be stellar once again sacking Daniels twice and gaining the ball back on a failed fourth down conversion by the Bears.
“His hip was hurting him. We knew it a few series earlier that something wasn’t right. We watched him kind of just to keep an eye on him and see how it was. I had to pull him aside and talk to him, and just ask him, and say exactly that we needed him to be honest with us,” said Nagy.
— Jonathan Bassey (@Jonathan_Bassey) November 18, 2019
The Rams (6-4) will look to keep their playoff hopes alive hosting the Baltimore Ravens and MVP candidate Lamar Jackson for a Monday night showdown at the Coliseum.