Los Angeles Rams: A pessimistic look at 2018 offseason

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

This is part one of a two-part series looking at the larger trajectory of the Los Angeles Rams. Are they headed in a good place or a bad place?  Today we take a pessimistic angle. Next week we will take a more positive outlook.

We all have that pessimistic voice in side of us.  When things are going well, the voice whispers that this will all end.  We have a sense for future dread.  A propensity for pessimism.  Let’s indulge that for a moment (because things are rarely as bad as we fear, right?).

Everything went right for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.  Few (if any) writers predicted an 11-5 season, not to mention the top scoring offense in the league after being last in 2016. But, here comes the pessimistic voice since things rarely go so well two years in a row.

Here are some things that may not go as well going forward for Los Angeles heading into 2018, even if they will be considered one of the top teams to beat in the NFC early on.


The Rams were very fortunate in the 2017 season, as they stayed very fee major injuries to their starters. Cornerback Kayvon Webster ruptured his Achilles tendon, wide receiver Robert Woods was out a few weeks, and linebacker Mark Barron along with safety Lamarcus Joyner both were banged up here and there. But overall, the team was remarkable healthy through the season. Injuries test a teams character. Exhibit A: The Philadelphia Eagles, who despite having great players at several important position out for the year, still managed to make the Super Bowl. Would the Rams have the character to lose key players and keep winning?  Will the Rams be able to build the depth going forward to survive one or several key injuries in the season?

Related Story: Pro Bowl adds depth to quality of Goff, Rams season

The Coaching Honeymoon is Over

Sean McVay went 11-5 in his first season as the Rams head coach. And though the turnaround was Coach of the Year worthy, it is not uncommon for coaches to make changes and reap benefit the first year. Remember, Jeff Fisher took the Rams from 2-14 to 7-8-1 in his first year, but never did better than that in subsequent seasons. Ben McAdoo took over the New York Giants, who were 6-10 the year before he got there and won 11 games his first year. But with only two wins into December in his second year, McAdoo was eventually fired. Could McVay hit a sophomore slump?

Defenses Could “Figure Goff Out”

We also must consider the chance that Jared Goff, who had perhaps the greatest single season turnaround in a decade, returns a bit to the middle of the pack next year. With a year of tape on the young quarterback and his tendencies, might 2018 see him throw more picks, get more pressure, and ultimately take a step back?  What does this offense look like if Goff is more Brian Hoyer than Carson Wentz?  Does the offense still work, and will the Rams go quarterback shopping again?

Free Agency

Lastly, we know that every team is unique. This offseason, players will come and others will leave. We will never see this exact mix of players we saw this season. It is unlikely that the Rams will be able to sign all of their own free agents, let alone add significant free agents from other teams.

Next: 3 picks Rams should consider in first round of NFL Draft

The Rams do have significant cap space going forward, but also some very expensive stars they will need to lock up. Was this year the sweet spot of youth and experience, one-year contracts and prove-it stars? In the end, winning in this league is very difficult, even for talented teams. Los Angeles needs to keep growing and building to take that next step, especially since the league will not do it for them.