Sean McVay Bounces Back: Remembering The Highs And Lows Of An Important 2023 Los Angeles Rams Season

Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams 2023-24 season has unfortunately come to a close. It didn’t end in the way some hoped, but it was much better than most expected. While many would sum up Sean McVay’s 2022 Super Bowl defense as a bust from the first week, 2023’s team had a multi-act run this year. After such a massive roller coaster of a season, here’s a look at the plot of the year in broad strokes and also in more detail.

In broad terms, the team entered into the year as underdogs with most non-Rams fans writing the team off after a 5-12 season in 2022. After nine games and a 3-6 record, most thought they were right. However, once they hit that wall, the team got a bit healthier and started to surge. Once they surged, only the best teams in the league could stop them. It took a 1/15 chance of getting a playoff game at Matthew Stafford‘s old stomping grounds to get the Rams to stumble in a big moment, which is what ultimately felled the team.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Sean McVay: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

September: Rams Stumble After Promising Start

In September, few knew who Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams were. However, after the team hung 30 points on the Seahawks in their building in Week 1, fans threw up their hands and grinned. However, the team started their slide soon after. Against the 49ers and Bengals in back-to-back weeks, the team came up short to their playoff rivals. Cooper Kupp missed the entire month due to injury.

Season Record: 1-2

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys
Sean McVay: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

October: Rams Slip Amid Injury Issues

The Rams slipped into a hot/cold phase, putting up 29 points in an overtime effort against the Indianapolis Colts and just 14 points against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kupp returned for the October 8th battle against the Eagles, but it wasn’t enough against one of the hottest teams in football at the time. The team then bounced back with a 26-9 win over the Cardinals and by this point, it was becoming clear that Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua were no joke. However, Williams was unable to finish the month due to injury and the team stumbled against the Steelers and Cowboys to end the month in a slump.

Season Record: 3-5

Syndication: The Post-Crescent

November: Matthew Stafford And Kyren Williams Return

Matthew Stafford had a rough start to the month as the Rams quarterback suffered a thumb injury that knocked him out of the team’s game against the Cowboys. The injury bled into the first game of November and the quarterback missed the month-opening game against the Green Bay Packers. Brett Rypien wore out his welcome with Rams fans in the contest, leading to his dismissal and the eventual signing of Carson Wentz.

Following the game, the team had slipped to 3-6 and were just one loss away from effectively ending their season early. However, that’s when things began to change for the better with the team. After an ugly win against the Seattle Seahawks, Kyren Williams returned for a November 26th win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Season Record: 5-6

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

December: Sean McVay Leads Offensive Surge

December served as a memorable month reminiscent of the team’s regular season that preceded the Super Bowl victory against the Bengals. The Rams didn’t go a perfect 5-0, but a 4-1 record including a narrow overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens gave fans the feeling that they could go toe-to-toe with anyone. The Rams also managed to effectively put the New Orleans Saints’ playoff hopes on life-support. Sean McVay’s offense in December scored 30.2 points per game, best in the league.

Season Record: 9-7

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY SportsCredit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

January: Rams Fall To Jared Goff

The final month of the team’s season was an odd one. The first of two games taking place in the month was the team’s win over the San Francisco 49ers with backup quarterback Carson Wentz. Some circled the wagons over the win and some did not, considering most starters were rested. The second game was the still-fresh loss against former Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

All season long, the potential return to Ford Field was teased and although the game didn’t end the “correct” way, fans did get a show they had yearned for. It also served as a quality first step in the right direction for a team coming off a 5-12 season. With the offseason still so fresh for the team, answers could still be a way off. Will Sean McVay be able to beat the bar set this season in 2024?

Season Final Record: 10-8