Rams head coach Sean McVay might not have the luxury to rest players
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay likes to rest his players in games that may have little consequence. Given how 2018 may play out in the NFC, that’s a luxury he may not have.
With a huge December ahead for the Los Angeles Rams, one things that head coach Sean McVay may not have available to him is resting his players down the stretch, even with an NFC West division all sewn up and decided.
The Rams and the New Orleans Saints are two teams headed to a Week 17 where home field advantage could still be up in the air. Looking ahead to who both teams may be facing, it’s Los Angeles that could be sitting the most favorable.
Beginning in Week 13, Los Angeles has only one playoff contender in a five-week stretch and that’s in Week 14 against NFC West leader Chicago Bears in a good Sunday Night match-up. After that, the Rams have a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, and a home game in Week 17 against division rival San Francisco 49ers.
The Saints meanwhile have four games in December with three of them against potential playoff teams including the Carolina Panthers twice on Week 15 on the road and Week 17 on New Orleans. They also have to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If the Rams and Saints are in a place where home field advantage is on the line, expect McVay to toss his routine of resting starters even against also-rans like the Cardinals and 49ers.
Without question, both Los Angeles and New Orleans are prime candidates for the playoff chase to run through their respective home cities, and it’s rare when teams go on the road and win a conference title. Going to LA or New Orleans would be a tall order for either team or anyone else for that matter.
In 2017, McVay sat his best in the season finale against San Francisco. Given how things could shake out, holding his best players out is a luxury he’s not expected to have.