LA Rams battle health and opponents in 2020 after losing to injuries in 2019

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

LA Rams battle health and opponents in 2020 after losing to injuries in 2019

The LA Rams began 2019 with three consecutive wins. The 2020 LA Rams have won two consecutive games so far in 2020. The LA Rams were a defending NFC West champion in 2019 after two games. The LA Rams are an undervalued team trying to get back to the NFL playoffs in 2020.  The only difference between the 2019 team and the 2020 team so far is perception.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

The 2019  LA Rams were not nearly as bad as the perception after the fact. That team endured incredibly devastating injuries, many of which ended the season for starting players. The Rams eventually became a team trying to duct tape an offensive line. The same team recast nearly the entire defensive secondary in midseason. The 2019 LA Rams finished the season 9-7 but began 2019 with three consecutive wins over the Carolina Panthers on the road, the pesky New Orleans Saints at home, and then the Cleveland Browns.  So the Rams have been “here” before.

Health as tough as any NFL opponent

The key to success in any year is to remain healthy. The LA Rams suffered injuries to 20 different players in 2019. That factor, more than anything the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, or Dallas Cowboys would do, doomed the Rams attempt to defend their NFC Championship title. And so, each game we remain especially vigilant on the team’s injuries.

We know that the Rams are hopeful that nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson will be activated in four more weeks or thereafter.  And that rookie outside linebacker Terrell Lewis will be eligible to return to the active roster in two weeks when the LA Rams face the New York Giants. but what we do not know is the status of rookie running back Cam Akers or offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom.

Their status is very important for the team this year.

NFL success is a marathon

The NFL is about winning over the long haul. If you want to check, the most successful NFL teams are often the healthiest. That was true for the 2018 LA Rams and was true for the 2019 San Francisco 49ers.  It began that way for the LA Rams in 2019. They were healthy for three weeks and won three games. Then? Well, you know the rest of the story.

While it’s always fun to exceed expectations, this Rams team is doing nothing new. This team has won two games so far, and the only difference between this year and last year is that this year very few believed that the Rams were capable of doing so.  The Rams are two wins in a two-game NFL season so far.

Is the NFC East really a true test?

That’s it. Two wins against the NFC East teams, an NFL division that, quite likely, will be won by a modestly successful team.  By the end of week five, the Rams will have faced all four NFC East teams and should have at least four wins. But are the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington football team, and the New York Giants a true test for these Rams?

NFC West teams will be the true test. The Rams won’t face that test until week six when they face the San Francisco 49ers on the road. The Rams’ second test is to host the Seattle Seahawks in week eight. Now, don’t get me wrong. Winning is great. Right now, the Rams are winning. But this is a 16 game marathon, and the LA Rams won three straight in 2019.  We’ve been here before, and it can go either way.

Rams may be a very good team, but nothing is proven yet.

The LA Rams are not there yet, not by a long shot. Until the Rams have a playoff spot locked up, anything can happen in the NFL. Until the Rams defeat NFC West division opponents, the Rams are an enigma.  We keep two feet on the ground here. When the NFL analysts and prognosticators called the Rams a six-win basement team, we fought hard to challenge that faulty logic.

Next. LA Rams offense was the key to beating Philadelphia. dark

Now that the Rams are a 2-0 team, this is where we expected that the Rams would be. The only surprise so far is how easily so many “experts” found it to discount one of the best NFL head coaches.  Ignore what others have said.  Forget what you’ve heard. The Rams are 2-0 this year so far, which is exactly where we expected them to be. So we are not going to lose sight of the fact that the Rams have 14 more games to play, and over three more months of grueling play to stay healthy.  It’s a good start, but it’s all about how the Rams finish.