Los Angeles Rams Ready To Win It All This Time?
November 27, 2020
In 2018, the Los Angeles Rams were considered one of the early contenders for the Super Bowl, with odds as low as +1000 to start the season. As they bulldozed their way through the regular season, they looked like a good bet to win it all.
Sure enough, they won the NFC and earned a trip to the Super Bowl, where they ran into the juggernaut known as the New England Patriots. It was then that they learned just how far away they were from being a Super Bowl winner.
When the game ended, like every time, it was back to the drawing board. Yeah, it was nice to have the No. 2 offense in the league. It was great to have a guy like Jared Goff at quarterback who was fourth in passing yards that season (4,688).
Teaming him up with the third most productive running back in the league, Todd Gurley (1,251 yards), was a match made in offensive heaven.
But the team was missing something; well, two things.
There was no Plan B for the running game when Todd Gurley began having issues with his knee. That and their 20th ranked scoring defense was not enough to hold off Tom Brady and the Patriots fourth-ranked scoring offense.
Fast forward two years, and they no longer have Todd Gurley in the backfield. But the run game is doing just fine (124.5 yards/game relative to 139.4 yards/game back in 2018). Goff is doing a great job with the passing game this year, but the offense is not scoring at the same click it was back in 2018
The defense, however, has picked up the slack. This year the Los Angeles Rams have the No. 2 scoring defense (19.2 points/game allowed). But is having a vastly improved defense (and a lesser offense) going to be enough for them to win it all this year?
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The 2020 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are not reminiscent of the ‘Greatest Show On Turf’ this year, but they generate enough offense to get the job done more often than not. They have only scored 30+ points in three games, and they lost one of them.
Their running back by committee approach appears to be working, and the Rams probably have the best group of wide receivers in the NFL. The offense has suffered the occasional power outage. But the defense has been able to step up most of the time.
Consequently, they are 7-3 and in first place in the NFC West because they own the tiebreaker over the 7-3 Seahawks. But they are far from a lock even to win the division. According to the oddsmakers at PointsBet.com, they have the same odds as the Seahawks to win the NFC West, +110.
The Cardinals (+550) still pose a threat, of course. But if the Seahawks defense now has its act together, as Pete Carrol has claimed, the advantage lies with Seattle. Should they not win the division, they will still make the playoffs as one of three wildcard teams.
But how they make it is not important. How far can the Rams go when they get there is.
Heading into Week 12, they are the No. 2 seed. But there isn’t much separating seeds two through seven. Two of them (Green Bay and Seattle) are also 7-3. Tampa Bay is 7-4, and the Cardinals (No. 7) are 6-4. So, it will not take much for them to slip down as far as No. 7.
So, they need to be prepared to play anyone in the wild card, divisional round, and the NFC Championship. We already know they can beat Tampa Bay, Seattle, and Washington. Although, if the Seahawks defense has woken up, that will not be an easy game.
As for the Packers, if the defense brings its ‘A’ game, they should be able to win. The same goes for the Arizona Cardinals. This is also assuming Goff can have an efficient game on offense and put some points on the board.
He’s already done it against three of the teams, and the Packers and Cardinals defense shouldn’t be too tough on him.
Of course, beating the Saints in the NFC Championship game is not going to come easy. While the Saints have the best odds (+250), the Rams are not far behind at +500. However, their odds are going to be a bit steeper in the Super Bowl (+1100).
So – How Should You Bet?
The NFC West will be a dog fight and could very well come down to the Rams-Seattle game in Week 16. With the game being as close as it was last time, this one could go either way.
If Seattle wins, then it will come down to tiebreakers—which could go either way, for now.
As for winning the NFC, a defense as talented and tough could definitely carry the Rams into the Super Bowl. But it will probably not be enough to save them from the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
The Rams are in a better position to win it than they were two years ago, but the Chiefs are going to be too much for them.