The Los Angeles Rams are now in the category of a great team this season.
After Sunday’s blowout win over the New York Giants, we might have to think differently about this Rams team. Last year, they started out well and people hyped them as the next greatest team and an absolute monster of a team that could challenge other teams and get to the Super Bowl. They finished 4-12. This season, nobody is hyping them but they’re getting a lot of praise and deservedly so.
Tavon Austin, one of the Rams wide receivers, last year said this about it, “We’re definitely feeling good, but we definitely know what it feels like to lose too…You can lose ‘X’ amount straight, and I was part of that team.”
It’s definitely true. Teams can sputter out like this, and in a division where the Seahawks are considered the best team there, it might not be surprising for the Rams to sputter out of control. But I don’t wish that one team, and on this team, because they definitely earned the praise of many analysts and writers, including myself.
How The Rams Got Here
With yesterday’s win, the Rams are now 6-2 and this has been their best start since 2001. Know what happened that year? They went to a Super Bowl. Now this year is not 2001, but people are starting to make the case they should go there. But hold up. We’re only in Week 9. Still, a lot of football left.
Before this season, the Rams were coming off 10 consecutive losing seasons going back to their days in St. Louis. But this season, they’re leading the NFL in point differential with a +108 rating. Their offense was dead last in the NFL in yards gained last two years. This year? They’re through half of a season and they topped their previous marks those two seasons.
How about that defense? In the past few weeks, they’ve only allowed the eighth-fewest yards per play. They’re also third in the league in turnovers this season, so they’re putting on a show on defense.
Who Should We Credit?
This may seem like a bone-headed question, considering most writers and analysts just question one guy. But everyone gets equal credit on this. Quarterback Jared Goff, in his second year in the league, may be evolving into a quarterback that we can rally around. Austin, as I mentioned earlier, could become a star at wide receiver. The running back Todd Gurley is definitely a big part of their offense, and he’s carrying them well.
But how about head coach Sean McVay? He may deserve the majority of the credit for helping tutor and build up Goff to do what he has been doing this season. In fact, I believe former head coach Jeff Fisher deserves a little credit for sitting Goff for a year last season. He allowed Jared to see this team and how he needs to play with them, and in his second year, he’s proving he’s helping this team contribute to winning games.
And here’s one more credit I will give: Owner Stan Kroenke. While many have despised him, particularly in St. Louis, for moving the team back to LA, the fact of the matter is: It’s where they belong. It’s where they have the most success, and I believe the expectations there rather in St. Louis helps this team. Kroenke understood that, and it’s why he moved them there, and he deserves credit for that and he’s by far one of the smartest owners in understanding how to build a winning team and where it should win. He knows one thing: The Rams are LA, not St. Louis, and in order to win, they have to be there, not in St. Louis. Plus, superstars prefer the warmth of LA rather than St. Louis. I’m just saying.
Rams A Super Bowl Team This Year?
You have to look at the teams they’ve beaten, including bad teams this season like the Colts, the 49ers, and the Giants. Plus, they’ve lost at home to a couple of good teams in both the Redskins and the Seahawks, and it’s still possible the Seahawks could win this division, rather than the Rams. But they’ve won impressive road games too, like the Cowboys and the Jaguars.
With all that said, I’m not sure I see them getting to the Super Bowl. I do believe they’ll be in the playoffs and they could get to the NFC Championship game, but I think for right now, that’s as far as I go. But I will not overlook them as a threat to win it all. They have built so much this season to be a successful team that it’s not hard not to say they’re in it for the long term. Here’s one other thing: I like Jared Goff, and I believe down the road, he’s going to be one of the most successful quarterbacks to ever play the game. He may well be on his way there.
The Rams are great, but they are not the best team in the NFL. But I won’t knock them for what they’re doing. They’re kicking peoples’ butts and they’re getting great numbers from their players. And everyone should look at the Rams as a serious threat, this season and beyond. Watch out for the return of the Rams to NFL prominence.