Plenty of Los Angeles Rams fans were upset over a prediction by USA Today claiming the team would fail to reach the playoffs during the 2019 season.
On paper, the Los Angeles Rams are loaded with plenty of great talent on both sides of the football that if the defending NFC champions were to earn a third trip in a row to the playoffs, this wouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
Back in 2017 when the Rams took a gamble to make Sean McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history, Los Angeles seemed like they would need at least a year or two before they could even become part of the serious contender conversation.
Two years later, the Rams are coming off back-to-back NFC West titles along with an appearance in the Super Bowl, showing just how great of a job McVay has done in making Los Angeles a top contender in the NFL.
Of course, just because a team is viewed as an early favorite leading up to September doesn’t necessarily guarantee a playoff spot since the argument can be made that Los Angeles is facing a whole new level of pressure after losing the Super Bowl.
It was one thing for the Rams to deal with the new level of pressure heading into last season after emerging as a surprise contender the year before in the NFC, but after coming up short in the Super Bowl, that pressure seems like it’s about to skyrocket.
With that being said, the folks at USA Today recently put together a list of record projections in the NFL for the 2019 season, and in what came as a huge surprise, Nate Davis predicted the Rams would miss out on the playoffs while finishing 9-7.
For obvious reasons, most Rams fans felt some sort of outrage over a prediction like this, but also look what Davis had to say since he does make a valid point.
"Competition seems to be catching up to two-time defending division champs, who need Todd Gurley close to 100% in their bid to shake off the Super Bowl hangover that effects so many outfits that fall just short. And a rude wake-up call is coming with four of first five road contests in Eastern time zone."
Unfortunately, the concerns surrounding Todd Gurley have lasted the entire offseason, as all eyes will be on the Pro Bowl running back entering training camp to see whether the running back’s knee is going to be an issue, or if he’s going to look like his usual dominant self.
Los Angeles fans can say whatever they want about how ridiculous this prediction by Davis is, but also the situation with Gurley isn’t the only thing that could cause some issues for the Rams.
And while expectations are rightfully high for Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen to take on larger roles as starters, they are inexperienced, which means there’s always the chance of dealing with some minor adjustments as well.
Hopefully, the Rams end up proving Davis wrong by finishing on top of the NFC West for a third-straight season, and put themselves in great position to earn another trip to the Super Bowl.
But since the Rams still have a long way to go in regards to proving themselves, fans should take what Davis said seriously, and acknowledge this is the perfect example of how there are no guarantees in the NFL.