Plenty of thanks are due to be exchanged between the participants of Week 7's Monday night primetime contest.
Rams defensive back Taylor Rapp should thank teammate Troy Hill for tipping the pass that resulted in Rapp's clutch interception. The Rams' offense should definitely express gratitude for the efforts of punter Johnny Hekker, whose field-swinging ability helped keep the Bears' less-than-stellar offense from doing much of anything.
Heck, the entire Bears offense should thank former Ram Robert Quinn for blowing up an end around attempt by Robert Woods, resulting in a fumble returned for a touchdown -- Chicago's only touchdown -- by Eddie Jackson.
The matchup of top-seven defenses didn't disappoint, even if one of them left town bummed about its second loss of 2020. Sean McVay could relate, having made the same sour trip home from San Francisco a week earlier. He was much happier to taste victory Monday.
"Defense was outstanding all night," the coach said following the win. "They got stop after stop, big time turnovers, fourth down stops and turnovers in the red zone. (CB) Jalen (Ramsey) and (S) Taylor Rapp ended up coming up with interceptions, so you can't say enough about their effort. The one touchdown they did give was on our offense. So, defense came through in a big way, and I was really pleased with our team's overall effort."
Because of both its achievement on the defensive side and its relative ineptitude offensively, Chicago came into Week 7 with defense being its calling card. You haven't heard about the 2020 Bears without being told of their defense.
The Rams were a different story, though, making for a revelatory performance in that, well, the Rams outplayed the Bears if we're simply comparing defensive outings. Los Angeles allowed less than 280 yards of offense, kept Chicago out of the end zone offensively, forced two turnovers via interceptions, sacked Nick Foles four times and never felt like much of a threat when Chicago had the ball late with a chance to make it a one-score game.
The Rams had already done their jobs. It was simply about cleaning up, which they did via a Jalen Ramsey interception and a forced turnover on downs a possession later. Hekker got his kicks in there, too, with a 63-yard bomb of a punt and a 36-yarder to follow, with both being downed inside Chicago's 10.
"It's hard to say one thing," McVay said when asked what made him happiest about his defense's performance. "I think I was pleased with everything that they did. I thought they flew around. I thought we were great, really in every area of the game. They held them to three points. That was all that they got. We had some huge stops when they were down in the tight red area, so they just did a great job."
Up next for the Rams: a date with a rookie quarterback making his debut as a starter. You can almost hear Aaron Donald licking his chops from here.