After last year’s success, the pressure is on for the Los Angeles Rams to live up to the hype once again in 2019.
If the last two years are any indication of what to expect in 2019, the Rams should be viewed as one of the early favorites once again to make a serious run at the Super Bowl in the NFC.
But of course, that’s always easier said than done since Los Angeles will be dealing with a whole new level of pressure this year as defending NFC champions while trying to overcome a few injuries to key players as well.
As much as Los Angeles doesn’t want to hear it, the concerns in the injury department along with the difficulty in topping last year’s 13-3 finish are just one of a few reasons as to why some critics believe the Rams could take a step back in 2019.
Take a look at ESPN’s Bill Barnwell for instance, who recently put together a list of the likeliest teams to decline during the 2019 season, with the Rams being the first team discussed.
Before Rams fans react with outrage, it should be noted that Barnwell makes plenty of solid points on top of the difficulty in finishing better than 13-3 like last year.
From the health concerns surrounding players like Gurley and Kupp to adjustments on the offensive line with younger players in Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen taking on larger roles, 2019 has numerous uncertainties for Los Angeles.
Barnwell also points out how many close calls the Rams had in 2018, whether it was the shootout against the Minnesota Vikings or simply the Monday Night Football classic when taking on the Kansas City Chiefs, meaning they could have easily lost a few more games.
Either way, the good news about an article like this is Barnwell makes it clear there’s absolutely no reason to panic over the Rams this upcoming season, but also there is reason to be cautious.
Knowing Sean McVay and the Rams, maybe appearing on a list like this can provide a little extra motivation as September approaches to make sure they do in fact live up to the hype.
Coming up short the way they did in the Super Bowl has given Los Angeles plenty to think about over these last couple of months, and while topping last year’s accomplishments will be quite the challenge, here’s to hoping the Rams are up for it.