5 events causing LA Rams finish last in NFC West

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams
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Reason 3 – LA Rams offensive line is the NFL’s worst

After a season of an LA Rams offensive line shredded by injuries, makeshift promotions, unfamiliarity, and finishing as the 31st ranked offensive line in the NFL, there is only one place to go to drop the team from 9-7 to 6-10. Dead last in the NFL.  And while the chances of that happening in 2020 are very remote indeed, the possibility exists. After all, much of the argument against any success for the LA Rams in 2020 depends almost entirely upon the presumption that the Rams offensive line was very bad in 2019 and did very little to fix anything.

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But the LA Rams 2019 offensive line was a virtual case study in anything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the team. In fact, the LA Rams offensive line was so injury-riddled last season that the team added two players as reinforcements mid-season, and promoted one as a starter with no benefit of any training camp or the preseason with the team.  The team ended the season with two players who were so banged up that they had surgery immediately after the season was over (Andrew Whitworth and Austin Blythe), rendering the entire starting five from 2019 as injured over the course of the season.

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How does it get worse than that?

In order for the offensive line to perform just as poorly, or worse, than last season, the Rams offensive line must nearly disintegrate this year. That means Rob Havenstein and Austin Blythe must perform horribly for the second consecutive season. It means that Andrew Whitworth must age horribly and overnight, and means that Austin Corbett, David Edwards, and whomever the Rams choose to be the starting center will all take a significant step backward simultaneously this season. All the while, the coaching staff will stare paralyzed at the same poor performance weekly, and fail to make any meaningful and effective changes.

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That’s the rub. Even if the sky falls upon the LA Rams, is the impression of the coaching staff so dismal that the team will not be expected to make any changes to fix the problems? And if the Rams offensive line was 31st in the NFL in 2019, hasn’t that already been a factor in the team’s 9-7 record from a year ago, when the Rams managed to break even against NFC West opponents at 3-3, and defeat some pretty good NFL teams?  It’s another possibility, but it remains remote.