Step III- Rams special teams return to NFL’s Top-10, particularly FG kicker
The LA Rams special teams play hurt the team in 2019. Most of all, the field goal kicker, Greg Zuerlein, simply lost the ability to kick beyond the 40-yard line in 2019. That is not to say that he could not turn it around in 2020. But if he does so, he’ll do so for the Dallas Cowboys. In summary, the Rams finished the season with a 10-18 accuracy for field goals over 40-yards.
The NFC West does not boast the best kicking in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers were 10-17 at field goals over 40 yards. The Arizona Cardinals were 7-10 at field goals over 40 yards. Finally, the Seattle Seahawks were 6-11 from long distance. If the Rams can turn the corner with a field goal kicker in 2020, they will win the close games in the NFC West.
Three kickers for one job
To do so, the Rams are choosing from Sam Sloman, Austin MacGinnis, and Lirim Hajrullahu. Sloman was drafted in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. MacGinnis was an XFL star signed as a free agent. Finally, Hajrullahu was a CFL star signed up as a free agent. The Rams have a choice to make from these three players, and the decision could have a significant impact on the team’s success.
The team will likely look to pare it down to a two-player contest soon. Perhaps the return of Terrell Lewis to the active roster will force the team to commit to a two-player competition at the kicker position. Even so, the Rams will be hard-pressed to simulate the type of game-like circumstances that are so crucial in choosing the “right guy” for the team. The Rams have a chance to claim a significant advantage over the other NFC West teams with a strong field goal kicker. As simple as that sounds, it’s the final piece to a Super Bowl team for the Rams in 2020.