Home-Field Advantage Is Still Possible For The Rams

Home-Field Advantage
Inside SoFi Stadium. Photo Credit: Kirk Morrison | Rams Pregame And Postgame Analyst

It’s funny after the Rams pulled a Kendall Roy and defiled their bed against the Niners, fans and non-David Byrne talking heads poured dirt on their prospects as top contenders in the NFC. There was even the possibility that if they couldn’t beat a rapidly deteriorating Niners team they were absolutely screwed against the likes of Arizona and New England while the Saints had home-field advantage in their grasp.

Well, what a difference two weeks makes, especially in 2020 where two weeks ago feels like a decade ago. The Rams beatdown both Arizona and New England and face a tanking tomato can in the Jets. The Saints are coming off a really bad loss to a shell of an Eagles team and have to deal with Patrick Mahomes on Sunday and a tough schedule against the Vikings and Panthers. If the Rams can win out the rest of the way and if the Packers and Saints have one more stumble in them can seize home-field advantage which carries more weight this season because only the No. 1 seed receives a bye.

In a season wracked by Covid-19 on top of the usual injuries any time off is a win. The Rams have injured players such as Taylor Rapp, Micah Kiser, and Terrell Lewis who would get extra time to work off their injury rust and they also have an outside, long-shot possibility of getting Andrew Whitworth back as well.

The time off also means an extra week to prepare Jared Goff who every once in a while needs to be recalibrated lest he has another relapse. Plus, it just gives Sean McVay a second to breathe and stop himself from succumbing to his worst instincts. Despite not having fans the Rams have a 5-1 record at home and assuming they don’t look ahead to the Seahawks next week that should improve to 6-1.

To get there, they must heed the advice of Frank “The Tank” Ricard and maintain their composure. They opened up as a 17.5 favorite against the Jets (as they should) and while gamblers shouldn’t sweat the Jets ruining any teases or parlays, the Rams are also prone to the Mike Tomlin syndrome of playing down to their level of competition.

There’s a world where the Jets take an early 7-3 lead and the Rams seem out of sync. The talent will eventually win out plus Adam Gase has coached all year while huffing glue on the sideline so there’s that. Still, it’s happened many times where a team in pursuit of 0-16 gets a really stupid win against a team that should cause them Wet Bandit levels of pain.

The Rams have the ability to be that team. The Jets’ only other real chance to win is in Week 17 against a Pats team where Bill Belichick would totally lose and lose like a fox because if the Jets win there’s a chance they miss out on Trevor Lawrence. He’d be shrewd enough to do it and if it happens the smart people will applaud it while the yahoos on Twitter will think they’re dunking on him Shaq style.

The point is, the Rams can’t look ahead to next week’s NFC West Championship game in Seattle. They need to take care of business, not chuck it 61 times, not forget they have a dynamic trident of a running attack, and the defense can’t allow idiotic, third-down conversions while Brandon Staley is scheduling interviews. If they remain focused they can’t beat the Jets early enough to rest guys ahead of their big Seattle showdown and then gauge how much they need to extend themselves against the Cardinals depending on what the Packers and Saints do these next two weeks. Homefield is within the Rams’ grasp all they have to do is not embarrass themselves.