Are the Rams the biggest unknown heading into the playoffs?

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Rams are no longer just a “nice story” in the 2017 NFL season. With an 11-5 record, the sky is still the limit for a team few have seem play this year.

When you go from 4-12 to 11-5 in the span of one season AND make the playoffs, you go from the nice, feel good story to one that becomes suddenly compelling. THAT is the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.

Think about.

A 31 year old first time head coach in Sean McVay, turning around a would be bust in Jared Goff, anchored by perhaps the biggest 2016 disappointment in Todd Gurley, having would could still be an MVP season.

So, what can fans and the NFL world expect come the franchises’ first playoff appearance since 2004?

Well, that depends on who you listened to this morning on sports talk radio or heard on any number of cable/satellite sports shows.

Some still see the Rams as heavy on the youth side and that being a potential liability, especially against a team one year removed from the Super Bowl.

Others see Los Angeles with advantages at quarterback,the  running game, and coaching.

But this isn’t any Week 1-17 game where redeeming a bad performance can come next week. If LA succumbs to a good Atlanta Falcons team and a veteran QB like Matt Ryan, the Rams are still a good story. But to advance the narrative of 2017, winning in front of a national TV audience is critical for a franchise more thought of as being in the same division as the Seattle Seahawks.

This weeks playoff game is as critical as those other “statement” games against Dallas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Only this time the stakes are much more significant and defining.

The Rams have a unique opportunity to reintroduce themselves to a national audience who’s likely to only have seen them on ESPN highlights, unless you live in Southern California.

Next: The Rams finally make it to primetime

The Los Angeles Rams at 11-5 is still the biggest unknown playing this weekend in the playoffs, just like they were against the Cowboys, Saints, Eagles, and the Seahawks twice.

They went 3-2 in those “statement” games.

They’d like to make it 4-2 with the stakes even higher this weekend.