The Los Angeles Rams were the second best team when they played and lost to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11. They will need to fix what was exposed in Minneapolis, if they are to be a team the league still takes seriously.
The Los Angeles Rams played and lost to the better team this past Sunday. Week 11 saw LA get their lunch handed to them by a team who may not have had the better quarterback, but likely the better team.
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Over a 16 game schedule, that will happen in the NFL, except maybe when you are the New England Patriots.
In losing to the Minnesota Vikings 24-7, the Rams showed that while they may still be a top team in the NFC, feasting on lesser teams will show who you are and aren’t when you eventually play the better ones.
The Los Angeles offense was brought to a grinding halt on the ground. After an opening drive that looked like the Rams would be doing business as usual, the Vikings defense would take over and render quarterback Jared Goff and this offense dead in the frozen waters of Minneapolis.
Over the course of four quarters the Rams were stalled offensively, and whatever your opinion of Vikings quarterback Case Keenum may be, he outworked the Los Angeles defense and made the plays that eventually would grind down a Wade Phillips defense.
Hey, it happens.
The Vikings were the better team in Week 11, and watching that game from beginning to end showed that.
The Rams are now 7-3, and heading home for another huge game, this time against NFC South leader, New Orleans, another team having a season where the whole Saints machine and quarterback Drew Brees appear to be clicking.
Los Angeles needs to get right, and quickly. While they may continue to lead in the West, the shine to their 2017 season will begin to dull if the Rams show an inability to beat playoff caliber teams. Outside of Jacksonville, they haven’t, as the win against a now fading Dallas Cowboys means less as they struggle to show any signs or being a challenger for the playoffs.
If the Los Angeles Rams are the team they looked like before Week 11 in Minnesota, they’ll need to beat the Saints.
Or show they are still a mirage in the California desert.