Los Angeles Rams: Sean Mannion faces even more pressure if starters rest again

(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

After a horrendous outing against the Baltimore Ravens, the Los Angeles Rams hope to see a better performance by Sean Mannion against the Oakland Raiders.

Since Sean McVay made the decision to rest a majority of his starters for the team’s first preseason game of 2018 against the Baltimore Ravens, the Los Angeles Rams were hoping to see Sean Mannion take advantage of the extra playing time with a solid performance.

Instead, the backup quarterback couldn’t even put together a “decent” performance against the Ravens after Mannion completed just 3 of 13 passes for 16 yards with an interception, as the Rams would eventually go on to lose the game 33-7.

All of a sudden, Mannion faces a whole new level of pressure heading into Saturday’s game against the Oakland Raiders since he went from looking like a lock for the backup job to now having to worry about losing the gig to someone else like Brandon Allen.

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While Mannion had the clear advantage heading into the preseason, Allen’s performance (10 of 15 passes for 73 yards with a touchdown) against the Ravens was much better than his teammate’s play. And even though the thought of Allen being the backup behind Jared Goff sounds insane to even consider, keep in mind that if he looks worthy, McVay won’t hesitate to reward him with the honors.

What makes this whole situation even more crazy to think about is how there was a time last year when some fans were trying to make the argument that Los Angeles should go with Mannion at the beginning of the season to give Goff more time to develop.

If that happened, there’s a good chance the Rams never would have put together the amazing season they did by winning the playoffs along with taking home the NFC West title over the Seattle Seahawks.

Of course, one game doesn’t define an individual player, and just because Mannion struggled against the Ravens doesn’t mean the same is going to happen against the Raiders.

If anything, this disappointing performance will hopefully motivate Mannion to bounce back against Oakland to show Los Angeles he does in fact have what it takes to be Goff’s backup for the 2018 season.

Otherwise, the Rams may have to explore other options at backup, whether it’s Allen or someone else. A reliable backup quarterback can be hard to find in the NFL, and if anything were to happen to Goff, Los Angeles wants to make sure they have a quarterback to count on.

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So if Mannion truly wants to convince the Rams he is in fact the answer, an impressive performance against the Raiders is almost a must since there isn’t that much time left in the preseason before the real action begins in September. Plus, if the starters end up resting for a second week in a row, this could help Mannion build a stronger case for himself as a result of the additional playing time.