Will the NFL national media come around on the 2017 Los Angeles Rams? A win against the Seattle Seahawks might get them that second look.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has played well. Maybe even above his head. Todd Gurley appears, by all indications, to be back to his old form and even a valuable pass catcher for his second year QB. Add in the addition of players like Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and rookie Cooper Kupp, fans should feel good about the trajectory of this team.
All that said, Goff and the Rams are still more question mark than legitimate contenders, and frankly, that’s a fine assumption and assessment. Let’s not forget, the 2016 edition also went 3-1, had won games in Tampa and Arizona, and also had beaten the Seahawks at home.
Then and now.
Los Angeles will have to do more. If the NFL media still looks at Goff and wonder if he can keep this up, there’s reason to. If those same skeptics eyeball Gurley and opine whether or not he can hold up at such a pace, well, it’s a fair question.
In a league of “what have you done lately,” a win against the Dallas Cowboys on the road won’t mean a whole lot if the Rams lose on Sunday at home against Seattle. Regardless of all the good feelings of a statement win, a loss against a division opponent at home puts the discussion of the Rams back in question.
And that’s fair.
Los Angeles has the Seahawks in the Coliseum for Week 5, followed by a road trip to Jacksonville to play the riddle that is the Jaguars, before heading to London for a “home” game against another division rival, Arizona.
Then it’s a bye week.
First, the Rams can’t go belly up and still beat their chest about beating the Cowboys. Bad losses in the next three weeks eliminate that.
So with that said, what’s the expectation before heading to that bye?
So far, the Rams are 1-1 at home, 2-0 on the road.
In a perfect world, you’d like to see the Rams take care of business at home, which means wins against Seattle and the Cardinals in London’s “home” game. Doing that would almost excuse a loss on the east coast to the Jags.
5-2 would already best the trend for where the Rams ended 2016 by one game.
But one thing is coming clear.
The Rams have solid personnel.
Goff may not be better than Russell Wilson, but you’d get an argument he’s better than Blake Bortles and likely no worse than an aging Carson Palmer. Beyond that, the Rams can match up well with opponents in the first half of the 2017 season.
If the Los Angeles Rams can eek out a record of 5-2 heading into that bye week, maybe, just maybe, some of those critics on the fence will come around.
So too might the fans who have yet to watch the home team at the Coliseum.