What a start to the season for the LA Rams.
Having entered the season at odds of 18/1 to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, the Rams are currently the 17/2 second favourites behind, who else, the New England Patriots.
We shouldn’t be surprised by the start that Sean McVay’s men have had given the offseason acquisitions of corner back Marcus Peters in a trade from Kansas City, wide receiver Brandin Cooks from New England, corner back Aqib Talib from Denver and the highly talented but aggressive Ndamukong Suh.
Sean McVay became the youngest coach in NFL history last year, but you wouldn’t have known, leading the Rams to a winning season (11-5), so to start 4-0 comes as no great shock for the fans of the LA Rams. The fire power that they have is one of the best in the league, averaging 35 points a game, with all the key players stepping up to the plate.
Let’s look at the figures for the offence. It’s no surprise that they are the number one ranked offence boasting a top three passing attack and a top 6 ground game. The reason they rank so highly is down to a solid offensive line and the ability it has to protect Goff (5 sacks) allowing him to throw for 1,406 and 11 touchdowns, giving him a QB rating of 127.3, the best in the league.
Ranked number 2 in pass yards isn’t just down to Goff and the o-Line, the wide receiver corps of Cooks, Kupp and Woods has contributed 1,123 yards and 8 touchdowns. With the trio of quality wide receivers that the Rams possess, its tough for opposing defences to cover all 3 plus the threat of Gurley coming out of the backfield on many of the different screens just adds more headaches to defensive coordinators up and down the league. Add another 194 receiving yards and a pair of passing touchdowns for Gurley its easy to see why this team can score at will.
Moving on to Gurley, he has just picked up where he left off last season, he’s absolutely balling. His ability as a pass catcher has opened up Sean McVay’s playbook in a big way, but don’t forget how good a runner he is and the way he finds holes and bursts through them. Only Zeke Elliott has more rush yards (426) than Gurley with Carlos Hyde and Alvin Kamara scoring one more touchdown (5) than the Rams running back.
So, it’s easy to see why the Rams are undefeated. On the other side of the ball the Rams look, on paper, to have an elite unit with their front seven and secondary. The first two games would have suggested that they were just as powerful as their offence, having had 3 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) against Oakland and shut out Arizona.
Relying on the offence in the last two games in shoot outs doesn’t look good but the Rams did create 6 sacks and 3 fumbles in home wins against the Chargers and the Vikings. The absence of former All-Pro corner Aqib Talib (injured) showed as Vikings QB Cousins shredded the Rams to the tune of 422 yards and three touchdowns. Perhaps it will take a few more weeks for the NFL offences to feel the full force of what the Rams have to offer on defence barring anymore injuries.
So, can they win it all? Of course they can! The arsenal they have is scary and well balanced which will keep defences honest. Keeping Goff and Gurley healthy is obviously of the utmost importance. The defence may need to step up at times and with injuries it may require a ‘next man up’ mentality. Sean McVay’s football brain is up there with Andy Reid’s and Bill Belichick’s when it comes to scheming plays and figuring out opponent’s weaknesses on both offence and defence. The future is certainly bright for one half of Los Angeles.