The LA Rams dropped their fifth straight contest in a week 12 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss drops them to 3-8 and gives them the longest losing streak of the McVay era. 3-8 puts them dead last in the NFC West, a division they won a year ago en route to a Super Bowl victory.
With eight losses on the campaign, how should the LA Rams handle the last seven games of the season? Should they try to finish with some dignity? Or should they wrap it up and see what they have in the youth movement?
LA Rams Struggles:
The LA Rams have struggled mightily this season, marking the most brutal and painful Super Bowl hangover in history. Scoring just 16.2 points per game which ranks them 28th, the Rams’ struggles have come partly from the lack of depth and injuries on the offensive side of the ball. That depth has faded into the injury category and leaves LA with practice squad talent.
After the week 12 loss, the LA Rams rank 32nd in yards per play, 31st in rushing yards (877), 29th in total touchdowns (19), 31st in average starting field position (own 25.9), 31st in scoring percentage (29.1%), 28th in plays executed (679) and 31st in red zone attempts (29.) All of these numbers are all-time lows in the McVay era.
Of course, the defense hasn’t helped as much as they could. The terrible starting field position for the offense is partly due to the lack of turnovers forced by the defense, and it is ranked 30th in total turnovers forced(10.) They also rank near the bottom in pressures, sacks, knockdowns, and hurries. The defense of the LA Rams has been decent enough to win games but not as good as they should be with the amount of talent they have on the roster.
LA Rams Injury Problems:
As of week 12, the Rams had 11 players on the injured reserve, and after the loss, they added another player to the list, wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson will miss the rest of the season due to foot surgery ending his lackluster introduction year with the LA Rams. The Rams have six out of 12 players on the IR who will miss the remainder of the year, which does them no favors.
To make matters worse, All-world Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald looks to have suffered a high ankle sprain during the Chiefs game, and coach McVay doesn’t know what his future holds regarding this season. Of the 12 players on the IR, four are Offensive Linemen, and all four are out for the season. The injuries have led to the Rams having 11 different o-line combos in 11 games which is never a recipe for success and also the most in the league.
LA Rams Next Possible Move?:
With all of these injuries, what could the LA Rams next possible move be? Well, being that Matthew Stafford is once again in concussion protocol for a non-concussion injury that caused concussion-like symptoms (neck strain) that led to numbness in his legs. That’s raised a big question, with only having three wins on the year and no offensive line to protect their QB. Do the Rams shut down their top stars for the season? It seems logical to have everyone fresh for next season, but what’s the end game?
The Rams don’t have a first-round pick, so realistically a “tank job” would only give the Detroit Lions a better draft pick than the Rams dealt their first-rounder for Stafford. But on the flip side, they wouldn’t be risking Stafford, Kupp (IR), Donald, Ramsey, etc., for beyond this season. After all, this whole season is just one big injury bug, and next year won’t be so bad (hopefully.)
The LA Rams are looking yet again at a limited number of cap space resources next season, but that’s the new norm in Inglewood. If there’s one thing football fans should know by now is the LA Rams have a cap wizard hidden deep within SOFI stadium. They always find a way to get their targets paid. A lot of maneuvering needs to be done to get this team back to a Super Bowl contender. But a healthy LA Rams team is a deadly team.
Bolster The Roster:
The mainstream media perpetuates a massive myth that the LA Rams have no draft capital. That’s only true to a certain extent. Saying, “The Rams have no draft picks,” and saying, “The Rams have no beneficial picks to trade,” are two different things. The Rams have draft picks to use; they don’t have draft picks to trade that brings the value of talent they’re looking for in return.
In the 2023 draft, the Rams have six picks at their disposal and have become masters at using the compensatory picks to their advantage. The LA Rams are projected to have four comp picks (5th, 5th, 6th, 7th) and could possibly add a third-round comp pick if Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris gets another job as DC or head coach. Either way, Morris is most likely leaving LA after this season. The catch comes if Morris or the other two minority staff workers on the Rams get better jobs than they already have, then the Rams will get a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick.
The Rams have plenty to work with and have plenty to ponder over the next week. Whatever decisions are made, know this season wasn’t due to going “all in” last season. It was from injuries, and every time the Rams got healthy once again, injuries piled up. Chalk it up as “one of those seasons.”