The LA Rams fell to the San Francisco 49ers twice in 2019. But the 49ers’ rise to success was a point of players healing and joining key contributors in the off-season
The LA Rams emerge from a disappointing season in much the same way as the San Francisco 49ers emerged from disappointment the previous season. The 49ers suffered 13 players falling to injured reserve in 2018, including starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. That gave the illusion that the 2018 version of the 49ers was worse than they truly were. The 2019 version, for the most part, remained very healthy. That now works in the opposite direction – where they appear better than they may be with a normal carry weight of injuries.
The 2019 LA Rams endured 19 injuries to players which forced the team to play through the remainder of their season with backups. If the 49ers were not as bad as their season, it then falls to logic to assert that the LA Rams should not be judged to be as bad as the 2019 season. And therein lies the basis for preseason optimism for the Rams to find success in 2020. Those 19 players are healing and recovering while the 49ers continue to compete, much like the 49ers had a season ago.
Right now, the LA Rams are faced with coaching staff openings, decisions to be made at free agency, and an important 2020 NFL Draft looming in the distance. While this may be one of the most important off-seasons for the modern day Rams under general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay, they are not without a template to follow.
The Rams 9-7 record in 2019 need only improve to 12-4 or 13-3 to ensure a bye week in the 2020 NFL Playoffs. While that may seem a large gap to cross, the Rams may be closer than you think.